Viking Fund Management LLC grew its stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 3.2% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 129,000 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the period. Altria Group accounts for 1.8% of Viking Fund Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 20th largest holding. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $6,438,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. City Holding Co. increased its stake in Altria Group by 4.5% in the 4th quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 4,635 shares of the company’s stock valued at $231,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Farmers Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 2.3% during the third quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 9,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $390,000 after acquiring an additional 216 shares during the period. Dividend Assets Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.1% during the third quarter. Dividend Assets Capital LLC now owns 7,264 shares of the company’s stock worth $297,000 after acquiring an additional 216 shares during the period. Townsend & Associates Inc increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the fourth quarter. Townsend & Associates Inc now owns 73,354 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,674,000 after acquiring an additional 217 shares during the period. Finally, Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 2.6% during the second quarter. Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 9,006 shares of the company’s stock worth $426,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.51% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages recently commented on MO. Citigroup upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, December 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 15th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Altria Group from $44.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, December 16th. Barclays set a $50.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $49.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.86.

MO stock traded up $0.38 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $51.25. 458,895 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,120,226. The company has a market cap of $93.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.84, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.44. Altria Group Inc has a 52-week low of $39.30 and a 52-week high of $57.88. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $50.25 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.53, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a current ratio of 0.56.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.04. Altria Group had a net margin of 7.00% and a return on equity of 56.17%. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.34 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 26th were issued a $0.84 dividend. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.56%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 24th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 84.21%.

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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