Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC Sells 10,549 Shares of Altria (MO)

Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC decreased its position in shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) by 25.7% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 30,468 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,549 shares during the quarter. Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC’s holdings in Altria were worth $1,899,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. First Manhattan Co. grew its holdings in Altria by 22.8% during the fourth quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,125,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,373,000 after buying an additional 208,935 shares in the last quarter. Alley Co LLC grew its holdings in Altria by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Alley Co LLC now owns 102,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,355,000 after buying an additional 904 shares in the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Altria by 6.1% during the fourth quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 23,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,661,000 after buying an additional 1,342 shares in the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Altria during the fourth quarter worth $1,044,000. Finally, Virtue Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Altria during the fourth quarter worth $1,049,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.71% of the company’s stock.

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In other news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Mark Newman purchased 5,345 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 30th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at $338,376.18. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:MO opened at $56.26 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $106,480.40, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. Altria has a 1 year low of $54.23 and a 1 year high of $77.79.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02. Altria had a return on equity of 49.92% and a net margin of 41.85%. The firm had revenue of $4.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.73 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Altria will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.98%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from Altria’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on MO. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria in a report on Monday, February 5th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Vetr upgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective on shares of Altria in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.42.

About Altria

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 (NYSE:MO)