Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. maintained its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 6,848 shares of the company’s stock at the close of the 2nd quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $510,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 164.9% during the 2nd quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 244,398 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,149,000 after acquiring an additional 152,121 shares during the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 10.3% during the 1st quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 155,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,079,000 after acquiring an additional 14,444 shares during the last quarter. SPC Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.8% during the 1st quarter. SPC Financial Inc. now owns 11,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $796,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Adams Diversified Equity Fund Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth $20,353,000. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter worth $1,950,000. 61.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

MO has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company raised shares of Altria Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $64.00 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.73.

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In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the 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 sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 65.05 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $125.42 billion, a PE ratio of 8.58 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a 50-day moving average of $63.33 and a 200-day moving average of $69.56.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its 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 firm 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 company posted $0.81 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.06%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

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.

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

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