Hilltop Holdings Inc. lessened its stake in shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) by 31.4% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 38,820 shares of the company’s stock after selling 17,778 shares during the quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc.’s holdings in Altria were worth $2,418,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in MO. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter worth about $120,000. Smart Portfolios LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the first quarter worth about $129,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter worth about $134,000. Centerpoint Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria by 73.7% during the first quarter. Centerpoint Advisors LLC now owns 2,355 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after purchasing an additional 999 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the first quarter worth about $147,000. 63.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE:MO opened at $56.64 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $110.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.76, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.63. Altria has a fifty-two week low of $53.91 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.65.
Altria announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.94%. Altria’s payout ratio is currently 82.84%.
In related news, Director Mark Newman acquired 5,345 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 30th. The shares were bought at an average price of $56.19 per share, with a total value of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at $338,376.18. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price target (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, May 14th. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Consumer Edge initiated coverage on shares of Altria in a report on Monday. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $69.31 target price on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $72.21.
Altria 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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