Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 75.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 12,800 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 5,500 shares during the period. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $914,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advantage Investment Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,752 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. purchased a new position in Altria Group during the 1st quarter worth $134,000. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 102.5% during the 1st quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 2,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after purchasing an additional 1,351 shares during the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gemmer Asset Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 13.4% during the 1st quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,716 shares of the company’s stock worth $194,000 after purchasing an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. 61.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Altria Group (MO) traded up 0.18% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.39. 16,567,304 shares of the company traded hands. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $60.01 and a 52-week high of $77.79. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $64.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.24. The firm has a market cap of $120.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.23 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS 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 given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.23%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.19%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $71.81.
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.
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