Altria Group Inc (MO) Shares Sold by HighPoint Advisor Group LLC

HighPoint Advisor Group LLC cut its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 2.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 54,706 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,536 shares during the quarter. Altria Group makes up about 1.0% of HighPoint Advisor Group LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 19th biggest position. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $3,591,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MO. Payden & Rygel grew its position in Altria Group by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Payden & Rygel now owns 425,184 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,663,000 after purchasing an additional 16,700 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its position in Altria Group by 23.1% in the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,576,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,413,000 after purchasing an additional 296,153 shares during the last quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 2,006,010 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,646,000 after purchasing an additional 63,217 shares during the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 25,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,885,000 after purchasing an additional 727 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,496,859,000 after purchasing an additional 8,969,677 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.54% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 over the last three months. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

MO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Piper Jaffray lifted their target price on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.53.

Shares of Altria Group stock opened at $64.25 on Tuesday. Altria Group Inc has a twelve month low of $59.07 and a twelve month high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $121,533.71, a PE ratio of 19.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.36%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.84%.

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

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