Altria Group Inc (MO) CEO Sells $995,720.27 in Stock

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) traded down $0.02 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $64.03. The company had a trading volume of 10,703,521 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,390,661. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $121,420.00, a P/E ratio of 12.06, a PEG ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 0.53. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $60.01 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 21st were given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 20th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.12%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 49.72%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MO. Parsec Financial Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the second quarter. Parsec Financial Management Inc. now owns 8,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $642,000 after buying an additional 507 shares during the last quarter. Verus Financial Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 11.0% in the second quarter. Verus Financial Partners Inc. now owns 86,078 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,410,000 after buying an additional 8,498 shares during the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.0% in the second quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 7,370 shares of the company’s stock valued at $548,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.6% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 803,013 shares of the company’s stock valued at $59,800,000 after buying an additional 12,907 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dock Street Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $202,000. 62.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages have issued reports on MO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 price target for the company in a report on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday. Piper Jaffray Companies increased their price target on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.20.

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About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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