Altria (MO) Stake Lifted by Amalgamated Bank

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Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in Altria (NYSE:MO) by 11.0% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 275,850 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 27,378 shares during the quarter. Amalgamated Bank’s holdings in Altria were worth $17,191,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. raised its position in Altria by 2.6% in the 4th quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. now owns 30,075 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,148,000 after purchasing an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI raised its position in shares of Altria by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 20,923 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,414,000 after acquiring an additional 772 shares during the last quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Altria by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. now owns 10,895 shares of the company’s stock valued at $778,000 after acquiring an additional 780 shares during the last quarter. Covington Capital Management raised its position in shares of Altria by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 60,403 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,313,000 after acquiring an additional 803 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria by 2.7% during the 4th quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 31,228 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,230,000 after acquiring an additional 812 shares during the last quarter. 63.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 20th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of Altria from $74.00 to $70.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Altria and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, May 14th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Altria from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $72.21.

MO opened at $56.79 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.34. Altria has a 12 month low of $53.91 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $109.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.80, a PEG ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.63.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.02. Altria had a net margin of 41.85% and a return on equity of 49.92%. The business had revenue of $4.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.73 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Altria will post 4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Investors of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. Altria’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

Altria declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, May 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Mark Newman bought 5,345 shares of Altria stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $56.19 per share, with a total value of $300,335.55. Following the purchase, the director now owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at $338,376.18. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Altria Profile

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 (NYSE:MO)

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