Security Asset Management Maintains Stake in Altria Group (MO)

Security Asset Management continued to hold its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 21,852 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the first quarter. Altria Group accounts for about 1.3% of Security Asset Management’s portfolio, making the stock its 29th largest position. Security Asset Management’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,561,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 18.5% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 23,722,282 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,604,101,000 after buying an additional 3,700,520 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 23.8% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,799,398 shares of the company’s stock valued at $271,353,000 after buying an additional 730,600 shares during the period. Putnam Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 186.6% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 3,473,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $234,886,000 after buying an additional 2,261,462 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 14.8% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,399,616 shares of the company’s stock valued at $242,802,000 after buying an additional 438,032 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.4% in the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 2,853,312 shares of the company’s stock valued at $203,784,000 after buying an additional 39,264 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.39% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded down 0.95% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $63.69. The stock had a trading volume of 10,210,604 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $69.77 and a 200-day moving average of $72.51. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $122.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.40 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.51 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.66.

In other Altria Group news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

About Altria Group

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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