Hyman Charles D lowered its position in Altria Group, Inc. (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 firm owned 158,598 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,492 shares during the quarter. Hyman Charles D’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $8,114,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. TRU Independence Asset Management 2 LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Encompass Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group in the 1st quarter worth about $31,000. Freedman Financial Associates Inc. bought a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Finally, Financial Avengers Inc. bought a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. 62.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
MO stock traded down $0.14 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.23. The company had a trading volume of 180,620 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,983,097. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $50.09 and a 200-day simple moving average of $43.72. The company has a market cap of $89.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 134.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.59, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.77. Altria Group, Inc. has a twelve month low of $35.02 and a twelve month high of $52.59.
Altria Group declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, January 28th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 2.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 25th were given a dividend of $0.86 per share. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.13%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 24th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.52%.
Several brokerages have issued reports on MO. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, April 16th. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $40.00 to $58.00 in a report on Thursday, April 1st. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, March 22nd. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their price target on shares of Altria Group from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $51.00.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc operates as a holding company, which engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States. It operates through the following segments: Smokeable Products, Smokeless Products, and Wine. The Smokeable Products segment comprised of cigarettes manufactured and sold by PM USA and machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco manufactured and sold by Middleton.
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