JFS Wealth Advisors LLC decreased its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 9.1% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,590 shares of the company’s stock after selling 260 shares during the period. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $123,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Grimes & Company Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 9.3% during the first quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,387 shares of the company’s stock worth $481,000 after purchasing an additional 717 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 78.2% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 347,017 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,929,000 after purchasing an additional 152,302 shares in the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 15.4% during the first quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 54,949 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,156,000 after purchasing an additional 7,339 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bowling Portfolio Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $2,502,000. 62.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of analysts have recently commented on MO shares. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 target price for the company. in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Altria Group from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Three equities 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 company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.74.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.01 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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.
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