Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 0.5% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 37,713 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 193 shares during the period. Altria Group accounts for about 1.2% of Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 15th biggest holding. Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $2,693,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Hartford Financial Management Inc. boosted its position in Altria Group by 25.4% during the 1st quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 4,542 shares of the company’s stock worth $324,000 after purchasing an additional 920 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank boosted its position in Altria Group by 495.6% during the 1st quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 105,680 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,548,000 after purchasing an additional 87,937 shares during the period. SPC Financial Inc. boosted its position in Altria Group by 1.8% during the 1st quarter. SPC Financial Inc. now owns 11,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $796,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 29,960 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,188 shares during the period. Finally, RNC Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 3.5% during the 1st quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC now owns 552,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,455,000 after purchasing an additional 18,855 shares during the period. 61.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on MO. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, August 6th. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. UBS AG decreased their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.81.

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In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (MO) traded down 0.38% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $62.25. 2,605,804 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $120.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.21 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $65.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $71.61.

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

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.66 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.19%.

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.

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

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