American Research & Management Co. trimmed its holdings in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) by 4.5% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 87,995 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,137 shares during the quarter. American Research & Management Co.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $4,502,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FIL Ltd lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 720.2% during the 4th quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 5,197,069 shares of the company’s stock worth $213,080,000 after acquiring an additional 4,563,420 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 143.4% during the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 6,483,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,810,000 after acquiring an additional 3,819,777 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Altria Group by 13.9% during the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 29,575,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,212,604,000 after purchasing an additional 3,606,662 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Altria Group by 40.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 8,779,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $359,957,000 after purchasing an additional 2,521,939 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 11.0% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 23,370,515 shares of the company’s stock worth $958,191,000 after purchasing an additional 2,316,587 shares during the last quarter. 62.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research analysts recently issued reports on MO shares. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. Piper Sandler reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $40.00 to $58.00 in a report on Thursday, April 1st. UBS Group downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, March 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their target price on Altria Group from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 19th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.90.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 27th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by ($0.03). Altria Group had a net margin of 2.84% and a return on equity of 148.93%. The firm had revenue of $5.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.95 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.02 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Altria Group, Inc. will post 4.37 earnings per share for the current year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, January 28th that permits the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 2.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 25th will be issued a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.68%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 24th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 81.52%.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, oral tobacco 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, as well as provides on! oral nicotine pouches.
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