HighTower Advisors LLC increased its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 5.2% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 882,567 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 44,007 shares during the period. Altria Group accounts for approximately 0.6% of HighTower Advisors LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 25th largest position. HighTower Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $62,943,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Hendley & Co. Inc. raised its stake in Altria Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Hendley & Co. Inc. now owns 23,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,565,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC now owns 6,262 shares of the company’s stock valued at $423,000 after buying an additional 604 shares during the last quarter. Auxier Asset Management raised its stake in Altria Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Auxier Asset Management now owns 146,504 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,907,000 after buying an additional 954 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 2,632,751 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,027,000 after buying an additional 118,218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $9,570,000. 62.47% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.71% on Friday, hitting $64.31. 7,275,652 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $71.34 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.73. The stock has a market cap of $123.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.48 and a beta of 0.61. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79.

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

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows 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.

WARNING: “Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Shares Bought by HighTower Advisors LLC” was reported by Daily Political and is the property of of Daily Political. If you are accessing this piece on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of U.S. and international trademark & copyright law. The legal version of this piece can be read at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/08/13/altria-group-nysemo-shares-bought-by-hightower-advisors-llc.html.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price objective 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. 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 reissued 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 research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.66.

In other Altria Group news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company 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.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MO? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Altria Group (NYSE:MO).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.