Altria Group Inc (MO) Shares Sold by Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd.

Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. trimmed its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 9.4% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 24,100 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,500 shares during the period. Altria Group makes up approximately 1.5% of Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd.’s holdings, making the stock its 7th largest holding. Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,191,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in MO. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Altria Group by 82,381.0% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 22,356,466 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,348,318,000 after acquiring an additional 22,329,361 shares in the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA grew its position in Altria Group by 0.7% in the third quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 529,204 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,916,000 after acquiring an additional 3,800 shares in the last quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP grew its position in Altria Group by 147.4% in the third quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 72,937 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,399,000 after acquiring an additional 43,453 shares in the last quarter. Connors Investor Services Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 27.2% in the third quarter. Connors Investor Services Inc. now owns 5,212 shares of the company’s stock worth $314,000 after acquiring an additional 1,113 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 106.0% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 730,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,065,000 after acquiring an additional 375,945 shares in the last quarter. 64.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE MO opened at $57.73 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.09, a current ratio of 0.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. Altria Group Inc has a 12-month low of $42.40 and a 12-month high of $66.04. The stock has a market cap of $107.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 0.39.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.95. Altria Group had a net margin of 27.45% and a return on equity of 49.05%. The business had revenue of $4.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.81 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.91 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be given a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 22nd. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.54%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 80.20%.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on MO shares. Citigroup set a $52.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 28th. Barclays started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, December 7th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. TheStreet lowered shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 6th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $64.28.

In other news, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 1,032 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $50.42 per share, for a total transaction of $52,033.44. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 38,308 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,931,489.36. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 1,352 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $52.11 per share, with a total value of $70,452.72. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 39,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,066,682.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

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Altria Group Company Profile

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 Group (NYSE:MO)

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