Sentry Investment Management LLC lessened its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 2.3% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 124,449 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,987 shares during the period. Sentry Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $6,147,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Capital International Investors increased its position in Altria Group by 698.6% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 31,992,124 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,929,445,000 after acquiring an additional 27,986,154 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in Altria Group by 4,426.0% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 23,150,081 shares of the company’s stock valued at $469,000 after acquiring an additional 22,638,593 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Altria Group by 82,381.0% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 22,356,466 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,348,318,000 after acquiring an additional 22,329,361 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in Altria Group by 10.3% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,106,747 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,479,149,000 after acquiring an additional 3,842,889 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its position in Altria Group by 20.0% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 19,755,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,191,471,000 after acquiring an additional 3,293,877 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.
In other 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 accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab acquired 1,352 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were bought at an average price of $52.11 per share, for a total transaction of $70,452.72. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 39,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,066,682.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95. Altria Group had a net margin of 27.45% and a return on equity of 49.05%. The firm had revenue of $4.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.81 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 22nd. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.64%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 80.20%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on MO. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Altria Group from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 22nd. Citigroup lowered shares of Altria Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Deutsche Bank lowered their target price on shares of Altria Group from $62.00 to $55.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Barclays began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, December 7th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $65.86.
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About Altria Group
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.
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