American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 2,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $164,000. Altria Group makes up approximately 2.1% of American Beacon Advisors Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 4th largest position.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MO. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,329,771,000 after buying an additional 687,246 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in 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. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in Altria Group by 25.1% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock worth $534,678,000 after buying an additional 1,501,400 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 7.4% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 5,632,931 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,304,000 after buying an additional 387,069 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 9.1% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,639,646 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,364,000 after buying an additional 388,541 shares in the last quarter. 62.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.59% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $65.22. The company had a trading volume of 940,912 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $125.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.60 and a beta of 0.61. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $71.01 and its 200-day moving average is $72.71. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted 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. 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 quarter last year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of research firms have recently issued reports on MO. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, August 6th. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.51 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. UBS AG lowered their price objective on Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.66.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by company 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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