Trading Report: The MU Investments Co. Ltd. lowers its Position in Altria Group (MO)

The MU Investments Co. Ltd. lowers its Position in Altria Group (MO)

MU Investments Co. Ltd. reduced its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 43.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 5,750 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,500 shares during the period. MU Investments Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $390,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MO. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 72,465,487 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,540,692,000 after buying an additional 1,328,172 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 52,621,380 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,297,256,000 after buying an additional 819,082 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 17,340,810 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,086,574,000 after buying an additional 611,346 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.8% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 16,102,973 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,006,993,000 after buying an additional 289,813 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 28.8% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 14,356,887 shares of the company’s stock valued at $899,602,000 after buying an additional 3,207,663 shares during the last quarter. 61.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.89% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $62.54. The company had a trading volume of 5,006,397 shares. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $56.15 and a 52 week high of $70.15. The company’s 50-day moving average is $64.10 and its 200 day moving average is $64.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $122.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.72 and a beta of 0.52.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 198.82% and a net margin of 22.05%. The business earned $6.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.90%. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 84.72%.

MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Vetr downgraded Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.40 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $69.00 target price (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Finally, Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 target price on the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.44.

In related news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total value of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. 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 large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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