Congress Asset Management Co. MA Increases Stock Position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)

Congress Asset Management Co. MA increased its stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 14.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 6,269 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Congress Asset Management Co. MA’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $297,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 57,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,724,000 after acquiring an additional 1,630 shares during the last quarter. Sound View Wealth Advisors Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter worth $3,158,000. Capital Advisors Inc. OK purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter valued at $585,000. WASHINGTON TRUST Co grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 74.1% during the second quarter. WASHINGTON TRUST Co now owns 9,272 shares of the company’s stock valued at $439,000 after buying an additional 3,945 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Motco grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 5.4% during the second quarter. Motco now owns 60,711 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,875,000 after buying an additional 3,099 shares in the last quarter. 63.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. Goldman Sachs Group cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley raised Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies cut Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research report on Monday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $58.57.

NYSE MO traded down $1.69 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $42.77. 1,631,739 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,886,700. The company has a current ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87. Altria Group Inc has a one year low of $42.40 and a one year high of $66.04. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $46.28 and a 200-day moving average of $50.96. The stock has a market cap of $83.06 billion, a PE ratio of 10.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.38.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.01 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a $0.84 dividend. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.86%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.20%.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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

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