Seizert Capital Partners LLC lowered its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 27.3% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 148,151 shares of the company’s stock after selling 55,756 shares during the period. Seizert Capital Partners LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $7,015,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Grimes & Company Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 9.3% in the 1st quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $481,000 after acquiring an additional 717 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the 1st 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 boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 78.2% during the 1st 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. boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 15.4% during the 1st 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 2nd quarter worth $2,502,000. 62.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages have commented 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 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. 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. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.74.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10. The firm had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The company’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.01 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.
Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program 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 programs are often an indication that the company’s board 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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