Conning Inc. lowered its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 20.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 372,775 shares of the company’s stock after selling 97,143 shares during the period. Conning Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $25,707,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First PREMIER Bank bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $103,000. CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,073 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter worth about $180,000. Adirondack Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.1% in the second quarter. Adirondack Trust Co. now owns 2,808 shares of the company’s stock worth $194,000 after buying an additional 85 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baker Boyer National Bank bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $207,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.29% of the company’s stock.

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

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.23% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $61.92. 6,315,259 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $64.36 and a 200-day moving average price of $64.95. The stock has a market cap of $120.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.50 and a beta of 0.52. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $56.15 and a 52 week high of $70.15.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 198.82% and a net margin of 22.05%. The company earned $6.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.01 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.94%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 84.72%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MO. Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.90 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. They issued a “hold” rating and a $70.00 price target for the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $69.00 price target (up from $64.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, July 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Argus set a $73.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $69.44.

In other news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total value of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MO

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