Shell Asset Management Co. Raises Stake in Altria Group (MO)
Shell Asset Management Co. lifted its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 319,968 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,566 shares during the quarter. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $23,828,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of MO. Washington Trust Bank increased its stake in Altria Group by 495.6% during the first quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 105,680 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,548,000 after acquiring an additional 87,937 shares during the last quarter. First United Bank Trust increased its stake in Altria Group by 1.0% during the first quarter. First United Bank Trust now owns 2,999 shares of the company’s stock worth $214,000 after acquiring an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 4.1% during the first quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 29,960 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,140,000 after acquiring an additional 1,188 shares during the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.3% during the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,000 after acquiring an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evanson Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 4.9% during the first quarter. Evanson Asset Management LLC now owns 25,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,804,000 after acquiring an additional 1,181 shares during the last quarter. 61.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) opened at 62.39 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $64.15 and a 200-day moving average price of $71.24. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $120.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.23 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.23%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.83%.
Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. BidaskClub cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies assumed coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.07.
In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
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.
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