Investors bought shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Monday. $116.87 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $60.86 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $56.01 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Altria Group had the 12th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.71) for the day and closed at $62.48
MO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their target price for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $75.14.
The stock has a market cap of $118,740.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.56, a PEG ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.64.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 52.63%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,129,659,000 after purchasing an additional 2,690,270 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 135,404,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,669,229,000 after purchasing an additional 1,140,353 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 27.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,065,018,000 after purchasing an additional 8,914,575 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,970,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,393,372,000 after purchasing an additional 1,561,120 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 21,709,187 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,547,228,000 after purchasing an additional 629,732 shares during the last quarter. 62.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Altria Group Company Profile
Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.
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