VeraBank N.A. decreased its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 8.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 13,379 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,210 shares during the period. VeraBank N.A.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $547,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of MO. HMS Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $41,000. Salomon & Ludwin LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 189.0% in the 2nd quarter. Salomon & Ludwin LLC now owns 867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after purchasing an additional 567 shares during the period. Titan Capital Management LLC CA acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $44,000. Interactive Financial Advisors increased its holdings in shares of 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 period. Finally, Perkins Coie Trust Co increased its holdings in shares of 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 period. Institutional investors own 63.25% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, August 26th. Cowen reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $49.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 30th. Morgan Stanley set a $44.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 24th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.53.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates 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 quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 10th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th were issued a $0.84 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 13th. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.83%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 84.21%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
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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