Bollard Group LLC increased its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 1.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 163,538 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,607 shares during the period. Altria Group comprises approximately 0.7% of Bollard Group LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position. Bollard Group LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $12,179,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $9,570,000. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in 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 last quarter. Auxier Asset Management boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Auxier Asset Management now owns 146,504 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,907,000 after buying an additional 954 shares during the last quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC now owns 6,262 shares of the company’s stock valued at $423,000 after buying an additional 604 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hendley & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Hendley & Co. Inc. now owns 23,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,565,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.47% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded down 0.31% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $65.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,310,352 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $72.04 and its 200-day moving average is $72.83. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $125.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.59 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results 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. The firm 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%. Altria Group’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several analysts 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 research note on Monday, April 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.66.

In other Altria Group 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 value of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.15% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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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