Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI reduced its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 5,218 shares of the company’s stock after selling 769 shares during the period. Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $247,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Country Trust Bank lifted its position in Altria Group by 86.9% during the 1st quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 239 shares in the last quarter. HMS Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $41,000. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 1st quarter worth approximately $43,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its position in Altria Group by 113.4% during the 1st quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 783 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,000 after acquiring an additional 416 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Interactive Financial Advisors lifted its position in Altria Group by 166.7% during the 1st quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 62.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.53% and a net margin of 25.04%. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.08 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
Several equities analysts recently commented on MO shares. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Citigroup set a $45.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.74.
About Altria Group
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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