Douglas Lane & Associates LLC decreased its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 13.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 13,339 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,132 shares during the period. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $993,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MO. Putnam Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 186.6% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 3,473,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $234,886,000 after buying an additional 2,261,462 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 25.1% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock worth $534,678,000 after buying an additional 1,501,400 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter worth $104,292,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 23.8% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,799,398 shares of the company’s stock worth $271,353,000 after buying an additional 730,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,329,771,000 after buying an additional 687,246 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group (MO) traded up 0.75% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $66.01. 2,165,887 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $73.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.05. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $127.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.70 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.72%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 32.19%.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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MO has been the subject of a number of research reports. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, April 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sell” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 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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