Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. cut its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 7.6% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 68,394 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,592 shares during the quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $3,238,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 24,928,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,229,235,000 after purchasing an additional 1,908,626 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 5.4% in the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,216,899 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,046,193,000 after purchasing an additional 926,612 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 8,142,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,175,000 after purchasing an additional 83,052 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,006,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,655,000 after purchasing an additional 93,073 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 64.24% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on MO. ValuEngine lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on Altria Group from $49.00 to $48.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.07.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.12% and a net margin of 25.04%. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th were given a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.68%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.20%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total transaction of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
About Altria Group
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.
Read More: Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
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