Ruggie Capital Group lowered its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 33.5% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 2,800 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,409 shares during the period. Ruggie Capital Group’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $160,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in 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 purchasing an additional 4,581,335 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in 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 purchasing an additional 4,613,088 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,786,839 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,237,273,000 after purchasing an additional 855,416 shares during the period. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.4% during the first quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 19,553,628 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,218,582,000 after purchasing an additional 822,620 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 2.6% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,492,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,050,215,000 after purchasing an additional 460,964 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 63.27% of the company’s stock.

MO stock opened at $63.43 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.31. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $53.91 and a 12 month high of $74.38. The company has a market capitalization of $112.11 billion, a PE ratio of 18.77, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.62.

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

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, May 17th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th will be paid a $0.80 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.04%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.84%.

In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on MO shares. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. Jefferies Financial Group lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, August 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $65.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.01.

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.

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

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