Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 175.3% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 210,760 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 134,215 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $15,050,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Balentine LLC increased its position in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Oak Point Wealth Management purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. INR Advisory Services LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter worth $134,000. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new position in Altria Group during the third quarter worth $114,000. Finally, Northwest Investment Counselors LLC increased its position in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. 62.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Altria Group news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 in the last quarter. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on MO shares. Berenberg Bank raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Vetr downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.65 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.66.
Shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) opened at $64.02 on Wednesday. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $60.01 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $121,875.79, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.03, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% 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 announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.37%. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 49.62%.
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.