Range Financial Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO – Get Rating) during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 27,166 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,419,000.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P bought a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at about $25,000. Bromfield Sneider Wealth Advisors bought a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at about $27,000. DB Wealth Management Group LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 286.2% during the first quarter. DB Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. Reitz Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at about $31,000. Finally, Rinkey Investments bought a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,000. Institutional investors own 59.75% of the company’s stock.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America dropped their price objective on Altria Group from $50.00 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 8th. Morgan Stanley upgraded Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $47.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Barclays cut Altria Group from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $53.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. StockNews.com cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their price target on Altria Group from $60.00 to $46.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.00.
Altria Group Stock Down 4.8 %
Altria Group (NYSE:MO – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.01. Altria Group had a negative return on equity of 488.86% and a net margin of 6.88%. The firm had revenue of $5.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.42 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.23 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Altria Group, Inc. will post 4.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group Increases Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.94 per share. This represents a $3.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.75%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.90. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 371.13%.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company provides cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars and pipe tobacco 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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