Financial Advisory Service Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 3.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 11,566 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 408 shares during the quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $861,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Baystate Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $270,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.4% during the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.7% during the first quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. now owns 3,863 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. AT Bancorp grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the first quarter. AT Bancorp now owns 10,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $753,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JJJ Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.8% during the first quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. now owns 3,702 shares of the company’s stock valued at $264,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. 61.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 64.87 on Wednesday. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $63.30 and a 200 day moving average of $69.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $125.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.55 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.81 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.66 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.07%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 34.83%.

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 leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated 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 can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated 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. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 24th. 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 on the stock in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.99.

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.

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

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