Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 19,547 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,254 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,456,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of MO. Ledyard National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 12,583 shares of the company’s stock valued at $899,000 after acquiring an additional 111 shares during the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 10.7% in the 1st quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 161,931 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,565,000 after acquiring an additional 15,596 shares during the last quarter. Beech Hill Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at about $229,000. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. now owns 29,344 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,096,000 after acquiring an additional 1,138 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Round Table Services LLC lifted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Round Table Services LLC now owns 3,735 shares of the company’s stock valued at $267,000 after acquiring an additional 274 shares during the last quarter. 61.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: This piece of content was first reported by Daily Political and is the sole property of of Daily Political. If you are reading this piece of content on another publication, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international trademark & copyright legislation. The correct version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/09/25/altria-group-mo-shares-bought-by-benjamin-f-edwards-company-inc.html.

MO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their target price on Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $78.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.07.

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (MO) opened at 62.49 on Monday. 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 $120.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.24 and a beta of 0.63. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.95 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.99.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results 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). Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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.