Texas Permanent School Fund reduced its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 3.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 566,664 shares of the company’s stock after selling 17,564 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $40,471,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. HM Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Strategic Financial Group LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 0.4% in the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the period. Lafayette Investments Inc. boosted its position in Altria Group by 0.7% in the first quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. now owns 3,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, AT Bancorp boosted its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. AT Bancorp now owns 10,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $753,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the period. 61.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.66% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.35. 961,995 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $124.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.49 and a beta of 0.61. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $68.44 and a 200-day moving average of $72.24.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 32.19%.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock 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 buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of research analysts have recently commented on MO shares. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sell” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.47.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is owned by 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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