Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI lessened its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 387,719 shares of the company’s stock after selling 32,033 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $18,358,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MO. HMS Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $41,000. Titan Capital Management LLC CA purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $44,000. Interactive Financial Advisors raised its position in Altria Group by 166.7% in the 1st quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Perkins Coie Trust Co raised its position in Altria Group by 214.0% in the 2nd quarter. Perkins Coie Trust Co now owns 967 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 659 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NuWave Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $46,000. Institutional investors own 63.25% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group stock traded up $0.72 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $40.84. 16,086,195 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 14,025,302. The stock has a market cap of $77.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.23, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56. Altria Group Inc has a 52-week low of $39.30 and a 52-week high of $66.04. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $45.13 and its 200 day moving average is $50.59.
Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.84 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.23%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 84.21%.
A number of brokerages have commented on MO. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. TheStreet downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 10th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.57.
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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