Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI Trims Stock Position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)

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Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI lessened its holdings in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 387,719 shares of the company’s stock after selling 32,033 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $18,358,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MO. FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 74.0% during the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 4,727,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $223,833,000 after purchasing an additional 2,010,023 shares during the last quarter. Natixis raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 428.3% during the second quarter. Natixis now owns 1,846,808 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,447,000 after purchasing an additional 1,497,259 shares during the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 73.2% during the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,428,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,938,000 after purchasing an additional 1,026,362 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 47.3% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 2,913,878 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,344,000 after purchasing an additional 935,757 shares during the last quarter. 63.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE MO traded up $0.72 during trading on Friday, hitting $40.84. The company had a trading volume of 16,086,195 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,025,302. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $45.13 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $50.59. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $39.30 and a fifty-two week high of $66.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $77.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10. The firm had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.84 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.23%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 84.21%.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

MO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 10th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.57.

Altria Group Company 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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