Boston Partners reduced its stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 28.8% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 1,093,100 shares of the company’s stock after selling 441,995 shares during the quarter. Boston Partners’ holdings in Altria Group were worth $51,774,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 147,103,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,965,342,000 after buying an additional 525,023 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 2.8% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,731,425 shares of the company’s stock valued at $886,937,000 after purchasing an additional 514,526 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 5.3% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 16,374,473 shares of the company’s stock valued at $775,331,000 after purchasing an additional 817,834 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 4.0% during the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 14,453,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $684,378,000 after purchasing an additional 552,118 shares in the last quarter. 63.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine lowered Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 10th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies lowered Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research report on Monday, September 9th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.57.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.53% and a net margin of 25.04%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.84 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.29%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 84.21%.
Altria Group declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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.
See Also: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
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