WINTON GROUP Ltd reduced its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 11.6% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 363,178 shares of the company’s stock after selling 47,605 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $22,964,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Putnam Investments LLC boosted its stake in 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 valued at $534,678,000 after buying an additional 1,501,400 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $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 valued at $271,353,000 after buying an additional 730,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $39,943,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.47% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 0.44% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $65.67. 607,672 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $126.61 billion, a PE ratio of 8.66 and a beta of 0.61. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $73.05 and a 200-day moving average of $72.89. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion during 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%. Altria Group’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 32.19%.

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Several equities analysts recently commented on MO shares. Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $74.89 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price objective for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was 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 can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Altria Group Company Profile

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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