National Pension Service grew its holdings in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 10.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,418,740 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 136,017 shares during the quarter. National Pension Service owned approximately 0.07% of Altria Group worth $105,554,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,329,771,000 after purchasing an additional 687,246 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 5.7% in the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,790,490 shares of the company’s stock valued at $627,817,000 after purchasing an additional 476,393 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 25.1% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $534,678,000 after purchasing an additional 1,501,400 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 7.4% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 5,632,931 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,304,000 after purchasing an additional 387,069 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 9.1% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,639,646 shares of the company’s stock valued at $331,364,000 after purchasing an additional 388,541 shares during the last quarter. 61.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their target price on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.57.
Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded down 1.20% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $63.42. 7,758,948 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $122.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.36 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a 50 day moving average of $63.95 and a 200 day moving average of $70.99.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.16%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.83%.
Altria Group declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group Profile
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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