Liberty Capital Management Inc. cut its position in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 8.8% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 6,211 shares of the company’s stock after selling 600 shares during the quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $456,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. increased its holdings in Altria Group by 133.3% during the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 97.4% in the 1st quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after purchasing an additional 821 shares in the last quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.9% in the 1st quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,752 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $164,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.85% of the company’s stock.

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Several research firms have recently commented on MO. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six 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 a consensus target price of $71.57.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.57% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $63.26. 2,922,476 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $63.39 and its 200-day moving average is $70.17. The stock has a market cap of $121.97 billion, a PE ratio of 8.34 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.20%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 34.83%.

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

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Altria Group 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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