Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund decreased its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 10.5% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 508,447 shares of the company’s stock after selling 59,412 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $28,875,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of MO. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,589,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,870,481,000 after acquiring an additional 4,581,335 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 14.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 37,263,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,116,214,000 after acquiring an additional 4,613,088 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,786,839 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,237,273,000 after buying an additional 855,416 shares during the period. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 4.4% in the 1st quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 19,553,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,218,582,000 after buying an additional 822,620 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,492,919 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,050,215,000 after buying an additional 460,964 shares during the period. 63.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
NYSE:MO opened at $59.11 on Wednesday. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $53.91 and a 12 month high of $74.38. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83. The company has a market cap of $110.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.49, a PEG ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.62.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 48.88% and a net margin of 42.00%. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.85 EPS. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.80 per share. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 82.84%.
Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan 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 stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
MO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, May 14th. ValuEngine lowered Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, May 14th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $70.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. Consumer Edge initiated coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Monday, June 11th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $69.31 price target for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.01.
In other news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total value of $184,962.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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.
Further Reading: Fundamental Analysis
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