BLB&B Advisors LLC continued to hold its stake in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 20,978 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. BLB&B Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,498,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 2,632,751 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,027,000 after buying an additional 118,218 shares during the period. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $9,570,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $4,270,000. Searle & CO. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,214,000. Finally, Wsfs Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $212,000. 62.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 1.0427% on Tuesday, hitting $65.5161. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,167,699 shares. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The firm has a market cap of $126.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.6399 and a beta of 0.61. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $71.01 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.71.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, April 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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

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