Bridges Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 3.6% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 192,277 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 6,610 shares during the period. Bridges Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $10,919,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 49.6% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 16,461,864 shares of the company’s stock worth $934,869,000 after acquiring an additional 5,454,989 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 14.1% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 37,263,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,116,214,000 after acquiring an additional 4,613,088 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.4% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,589,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,870,481,000 after acquiring an additional 4,581,335 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $178,215,000. Finally, Voya Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 354.6% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 3,883,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $220,551,000 after acquiring an additional 3,029,307 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 63.27% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Jefferies Financial Group set a $70.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. Consumer Edge started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, June 11th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $69.31 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.95.

MO stock opened at $61.46 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $112.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.62. Altria Group Inc has a 52 week low of $53.91 and a 52 week high of $74.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 42.00% and a return on equity of 48.88%. The firm’s revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.21%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

Altria Group Profile

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

Further Reading: How Do You Calculate Return on Equity (ROE)?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MO? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.