Welch & Forbes LLC lessened its stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 9.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 22,771 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,270 shares during the quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,078,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 2.3% in the first quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 9,426 shares of the company’s stock valued at $541,000 after acquiring an additional 213 shares during the last quarter. Riverview Trust Co raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 7.5% in the first quarter. Riverview Trust Co now owns 3,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,000 after purchasing an additional 214 shares during the period. Wiley BROS. Aintree Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.5% in the first quarter. Wiley BROS. Aintree Capital LLC now owns 6,535 shares of the company’s stock valued at $375,000 after purchasing an additional 222 shares during the period. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 5,124 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after purchasing an additional 229 shares during the period. Finally, Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 10.0% in the first quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 2,551 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after purchasing an additional 232 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 64.24% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages have recently weighed in on MO. ValuEngine lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $49.00 to $48.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.07.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.12%. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.08 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.01 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th were given a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 80.20%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total transaction of $104,960.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Altria Group Profile
Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.
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