Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its position in shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO – Free Report) by 53.8% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 944,252 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 330,306 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA owned 0.05% of Altria Group worth $39,706,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the first quarter valued at $25,000. WFA of San Diego LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the second quarter worth approximately $30,000. Legacy Financial Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the third quarter worth approximately $30,000. Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Finally, Asset Dedication LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 56.7% in the 2nd quarter. Asset Dedication LLC now owns 774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,000 after purchasing an additional 280 shares during the period. 58.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Altria Group Price Performance
Shares of NYSE:MO opened at $40.08 on Friday. Altria Group, Inc. has a 1 year low of $39.06 and a 1 year high of $48.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $70.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 0.66. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $41.04 and its 200 day simple moving average is $42.09.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 1.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
Altria Group Dividend Announcement
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 21st were paid a $0.98 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 20th. This represents a $3.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 9.78%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 85.78%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MO. UBS Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $36.10 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Citigroup lowered their target price on shares of Altria Group from $46.50 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Jefferies Financial Group boosted their price target on Altria Group from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Finally, StockNews.com upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Altria Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.22.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company provides cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars and pipe tobacco principally under the Black & Mild brand; moist smokeless tobacco products and snus products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands; and on! oral nicotine pouches.
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