Train Babcock Advisors LLC reduced its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 7.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 6,713 shares of the company’s stock after selling 527 shares during the period. Train Babcock Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $480,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,697,000. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 891.7% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 3,741,164 shares of the company’s stock valued at $253,062,000 after buying an additional 3,363,935 shares during the last quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,701,000. Sii Investments Inc. WI raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 45,213 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,060,000 after buying an additional 321 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sunbelt Securities Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $176,000. Institutional investors own 62.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 0.72% on Monday, hitting $65.99. 5,934,146 shares of the company traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $73.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.05. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $60.01 and a 1-year high of $77.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $127.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.70 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.70%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.19%.

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Several brokerages have issued reports on MO. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.66.

In related news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.15% of the stock is 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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