Driehaus Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund bought 2,940 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $210,000.

Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. increased its stake in Altria Group by 133.3% in the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 1.9% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,752 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. purchased a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at $134,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 1,939 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC increased its stake 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 valued at $191,000 after buying an additional 1,351 shares during the last quarter. 62.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.71% during trading on Friday, reaching $64.31. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,275,652 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $71.34 and a 200 day moving average of $72.73. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $123.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.48 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan 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 shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several research firms have recently weighed in on MO. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, August 6th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. UBS AG reduced their target price on Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reduced their target price on Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

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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