Investment Centers of America Inc. cut its holdings in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 3.9% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 327,714 shares of the company’s stock after selling 13,298 shares during the quarter. Altria Group comprises about 1.8% of Investment Centers of America Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th biggest holding. Investment Centers of America Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $23,384,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MO. Swiss National Bank raised its position in Altria Group by 25.1% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock worth $534,678,000 after acquiring an additional 1,501,400 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in Altria Group in the first quarter worth about $104,292,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in Altria Group by 23.8% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,799,398 shares of the company’s stock worth $271,353,000 after acquiring an additional 730,600 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Altria Group by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,329,771,000 after acquiring an additional 687,246 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new stake in Altria Group in the first quarter worth about $39,943,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.89% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.80% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $62.23. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,736,941 shares. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $119.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.21 and a beta of 0.63. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $65.63 and its 200 day moving average is $71.66.

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

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.24%. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.19%.

Several brokerages have commented on MO. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 17th. BidaskClub cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price target 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 issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.81.

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In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Altria Group Company Profile

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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