Carmichael Hill & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund acquired 16,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,168,000. Altria Group makes up approximately 1.3% of Carmichael Hill & Associates Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth $676,000. M&T Bank Corp grew its stake in Altria Group by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 1,322,959 shares of the company’s stock worth $94,473,000 after purchasing an additional 8,530 shares in the last quarter. Community Bank N.A. grew its stake in Altria Group by 22.1% during the 4th quarter. Community Bank N.A. now owns 24,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,732,000 after purchasing an additional 4,383 shares in the last quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth $220,000. Finally, Icon Advisers Inc. Co. acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth $471,000. 62.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In other news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 over the last three months. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group Inc (MO) opened at $66.13 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $125,680.00, a PE ratio of 18.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $60.01 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.70 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 74.16%.

Several research firms recently commented on MO. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their price target on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.66.

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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.

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

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