B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund decreased its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 55.7% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 19,914 shares of the company’s stock after selling 25,029 shares during the quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,131,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management IL grew its stake in Altria Group by 9.9% in the 2nd quarter. Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management IL now owns 9,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $540,000 after purchasing an additional 859 shares during the period. Burney Co. grew its stake in Altria Group by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Burney Co. now owns 22,348 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,269,000 after purchasing an additional 859 shares during the period. Cpwm LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 23.9% in the 2nd quarter. Cpwm LLC now owns 4,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $257,000 after purchasing an additional 874 shares during the period. 180 Wealth Advisors LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. 180 Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,323,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares during the period. Finally, Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 16.4% in the 2nd quarter. Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC now owns 6,275 shares of the company’s stock valued at $356,000 after purchasing an additional 882 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.27% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Shares of NYSE MO opened at $61.46 on Friday. Altria Group Inc has a one year low of $53.91 and a one year high of $74.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.65. The firm has a market cap of $112.11 billion, a PE ratio of 18.18, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.62.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 48.88% and a net margin of 42.00%. The firm had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be given a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.
MO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Jefferies Financial Group set a $70.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. Consumer Edge initiated coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Monday, June 11th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $69.31 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $70.95.
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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