Investment Counsel Inc. continued to hold its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 7,890 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the 2nd quarter. Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $588,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 164.9% in the 2nd quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 244,398 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,149,000 after buying an additional 152,121 shares during the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 10.3% during the first quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 155,121 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,079,000 after buying an additional 14,444 shares during the period. SPC Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 1.8% during the first quarter. SPC Financial Inc. now owns 11,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $796,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Adams Diversified Equity Fund Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $20,353,000. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,950,000. Institutional investors own 61.85% of the company’s stock.

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In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the company’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 completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on MO shares. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub cut shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.18 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, June 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.57.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 63.42 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $122.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.36 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $60.01 and a 1-year high of $77.79. The company’s 50-day moving average is $63.95 and its 200 day moving average is $70.99.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share 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 business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate 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 given a dividend of $0.66 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.16%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.83%.

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

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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