Barrett Asset Management LLC Boosts Position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Barrett Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 2.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 30,300 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Barrett Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $2,164,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Soros Fund Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $352,000. Texas Yale Capital Corp. increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Texas Yale Capital Corp. now owns 93,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,347,000 after buying an additional 3,225 shares during the last quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. ADV acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $3,803,000. Intact Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 41.0% in the fourth quarter. Intact Investment Management Inc. now owns 288,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,477,000 after buying an additional 83,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hartford Financial Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 25.4% in the first quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 4,542 shares of the company’s stock valued at $324,000 after buying an additional 920 shares during the last quarter. 61.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Altria Group (MO) traded down 9.49% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $66.94. 54,403,894 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $74.75 and a 200-day moving average of $73.01. The stock has a market cap of $129.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.06 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 76.43% and a net margin of 55.99%. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan 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 shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were paid a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.65%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.02%.

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Several brokerages have commented on MO. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. BidaskClub downgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.59.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total value of $303,035.20. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 112,457 shares in the company, valued at $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Altria Group Company 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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