Altria Group Inc (MO) Stake Lessened by Texas Permanent School Fund

Texas Permanent School Fund decreased its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 10.7% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 377,946 shares of the company’s stock after selling 45,253 shares during the quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $18,667,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MO. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 141,423,951 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,529,279,000 after buying an additional 1,107,891 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 141,423,951 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,529,279,000 after buying an additional 1,107,891 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 141,022,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,505,083,000 after buying an additional 2,433,533 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,106,747 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,479,149,000 after buying an additional 3,842,889 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 698.6% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 31,992,124 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,929,445,000 after buying an additional 27,986,154 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.

In other Altria Group news, VP Ivan S. Feldman sold 6,802 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.18, for a total transaction of $348,126.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab acquired 1,032 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 21st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $50.42 per share, for a total transaction of $52,033.44. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 38,308 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,931,489.36. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on MO shares. Barclays started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, December 7th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $64.00 price target on the stock. TheStreet downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price target on shares of Altria Group from $75.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $65.86.

NYSE MO opened at $56.75 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $106.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.37. Altria Group Inc has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $66.04. The company has a current ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 0.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95. The business had revenue of $4.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.81 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 27.45% and a return on equity of 49.05%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.91 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.64%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 22nd. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.20%.

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Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

Further Reading: How Do I Invest in Dividend Stocks

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

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