Shepherd Financial Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 0.7% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 53,221 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 392 shares during the quarter. Altria Group comprises about 0.6% of Shepherd Financial Partners LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position. Shepherd Financial Partners LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $3,056,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Country Trust Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 86.9% during the 1st quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares in the last quarter. Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at about $30,000. Clean Yield Group bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at about $32,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 627.6% during the 4th quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 615 shares in the last quarter. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $43,000. Institutional investors own 64.04% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on MO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. ValuEngine upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Bank of America lifted their price objective on Altria Group from $56.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. TheStreet upgraded Altria Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Altria Group from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.53.

In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 1,352 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $52.11 per share, for a total transaction of $70,452.72. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 39,660 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,066,682.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MO opened at $52.40 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $98.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.13, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. Altria Group Inc has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $66.04.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $4.39 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.60 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 24.87% and a return on equity of 49.42%. The company’s revenue was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.95 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 80.20%.

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About Altria Group

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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