Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. Sells 11,990 Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. cut its position in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 10.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 100,400 shares of the company’s stock after selling 11,990 shares during the period. Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $7,171,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $1,609,000. Aldebaran Financial Inc. acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $208,000. Wealthfront Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 15.9% in the fourth quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 70,996 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,801,000 after buying an additional 9,716 shares during the period. RMB Capital Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 11,866 shares of the company’s stock worth $802,000 after buying an additional 491 shares during the period. Finally, Hendley & Co. Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Hendley & Co. Inc. now owns 23,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,565,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. 62.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded down 0.14% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $64.68. 2,227,292 shares of the company were exchanged. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The company has a market capitalization of $124.70 billion, a PE ratio of 8.53 and a beta of 0.61. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $71.69 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.77.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized 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 buy up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies assumed coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sell” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. 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 assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.66.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.15% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Altria Group Company Profile

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.

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

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