Altria Group Inc (MO) Shares Bought by Boston Partners
Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 6.2% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 582,766 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 33,981 shares during the period. Boston Partners’ holdings in Altria Group were worth $41,615,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Altria Group by 21,647.0% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 19,831,702 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,476,867,000 after acquiring an additional 19,740,509 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 7.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,496,859,000 after acquiring an additional 8,969,677 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its position in Altria Group by 27.6% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,065,018,000 after acquiring an additional 8,914,575 shares during the last quarter. USS Investment Management Ltd acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth about $269,661,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 2.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,129,659,000 after acquiring an additional 2,690,270 shares during the last quarter. 63.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The company’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 3.99 EPS for the current year.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.48%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 74.16%.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Vetr cut shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.65 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.66.
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.
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