Park Avenue Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor purchased 9,993 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $743,000.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of MO. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% during the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 97.4% during the 1st quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 821 shares in the last quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,752 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter worth about $164,000. 61.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 5th. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 target price (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.07.

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In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following 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 legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) opened at 62.49 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $120.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.24 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $60.01 and a 52-week 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 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 0.7% 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 Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.22%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

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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