Daiwa Securities Group Inc. decreased its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 16.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 224,922 shares of the company’s stock after selling 43,078 shares during the period. Daiwa Securities Group Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $16,064,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advantage Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $116,000. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new position in Altria Group during the first quarter worth approximately $134,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 1,939 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation raised its position in Altria Group by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,428 shares of the company’s stock worth $164,000 after buying an additional 99 shares during the period. Finally, Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 102.5% in the first quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 2,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after buying an additional 1,351 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.01% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 73.42 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $75.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.87. The company has a market cap of $142.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.94 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.82 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 76.43% and a net margin of 55.99%. The company had revenue of $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.72 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.02%.

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A number of research firms have commented on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Cowen and Company restated a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies began 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. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.34.

In other Altria Group news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

About Altria Group

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

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