Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 53,150 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,018,000.

Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MO. IMA Wealth Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at about $106,000. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at about $123,000. Landaas & Co. WI ADV purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at about $137,000. New England Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at about $138,000. Finally, Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 96.9% in the second quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,211 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after purchasing an additional 2,564 shares during the last quarter. 63.08% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several analysts have recently commented on MO shares. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Bank of America set a $70.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, August 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.95.

NYSE MO opened at $62.44 on Tuesday. Altria Group Inc has a 52-week low of $53.91 and a 52-week high of $74.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The stock has a market cap of $117.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 42.00% and a return on equity of 48.88%. The business had revenue of $4.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 94.67%.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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

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