Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 9.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,720,574 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 141,458 shares during the period. Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $85,168,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 8.3% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 24,928,440 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,229,235,000 after purchasing an additional 1,908,626 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 5.4% during the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,216,899 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,046,193,000 after purchasing an additional 926,612 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,006,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $296,655,000 after purchasing an additional 93,073 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 9.1% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,535,176 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,602,000 after purchasing an additional 294,006 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.23% of the company’s stock.
In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.53% and a net margin of 25.04%. The firm had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th were given a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.90%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 80.20%.
A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Altria Group from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. ValuEngine downgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Citigroup set a $45.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.74.
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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