Hochman Cole Investment Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 10.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,743 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 352 shares during the period. Hochman Cole Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $267,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $959,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 13.9% in the fourth quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 21,915,337 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,481,916,000 after buying an additional 2,676,668 shares in the last quarter. Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $665,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 192,483 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,016,000 after buying an additional 553 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cadence Bank NA boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Cadence Bank NA now owns 36,024 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,436,000 after buying an additional 189 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.05% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (MO) opened at 76.53 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $148.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.36 and a beta of 0.66. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.82 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $73.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.73. Altria Group also saw unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors purchased 2,040 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 532% compared to the average daily volume of 323 put options.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 55.99% and a return on equity of 76.43%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.72 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.02%.

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A number of research firms recently weighed in on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $71.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, March 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.36.

In other Altria Group news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. 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 cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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

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