Narwhal Capital Management increased its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 20.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 53,850 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 9,050 shares during the quarter. Narwhal Capital Management’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $4,010,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Swiss National Bank raised its position in 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 purchasing an additional 1,501,400 shares during the period. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $104,292,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in 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 purchasing an additional 730,600 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its position in Altria Group by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,329,771,000 after purchasing an additional 687,246 shares during the period. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $39,943,000. 61.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

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

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.81 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program 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 programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis 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 dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.83%.

Altria Group 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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