NS Partners Ltd raised its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 81.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 142,697 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 64,122 shares during the period. Altria Group makes up approximately 1.5% of NS Partners Ltd’s holdings, making the stock its 20th largest position. NS Partners Ltd’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $10,191,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter worth $28,101,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 5.7% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,790,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $627,817,000 after buying an additional 476,393 shares in the last quarter. QUANTRES ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter worth $1,078,000. Verity Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter worth $251,000. Finally, Good Life Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 27.4% in the first quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 32,045 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,301,000 after buying an additional 6,896 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group (MO) traded down 0.2755% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $65.1301. The company had a trading volume of 1,216,988 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $72.04 and a 200 day moving average of $72.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $125.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.5890 and a beta of 0.61. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS AG restated a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

About Altria Group

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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