LS Investment Advisors LLC Sells 34,792 Shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO)

LS Investment Advisors LLC decreased its position in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) by 58.5% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 24,691 shares of the company’s stock after selling 34,792 shares during the quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,177,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,762,212 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,099,076,000 after acquiring an additional 8,184,592 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 34.2% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 10,834,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $554,295,000 after buying an additional 2,761,712 shares in the last quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 235.6% during the first quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC now owns 2,198,437 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,472,000 after buying an additional 1,543,417 shares in the last quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter worth $43,483,000. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in Altria Group by 10.7% during the first quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 8,321,197 shares of the company’s stock worth $425,712,000 after buying an additional 802,248 shares in the last quarter. 59.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on MO shares. Redburn Partners started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, June 17th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, July 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $52.75.

NYSE:MO traded up $0.07 on Tuesday, hitting $48.21. 69,874 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,258,863. The stock has a market capitalization of $88.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.65, a P/E/G ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group, Inc. has a 52 week low of $35.83 and a 52 week high of $52.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.67, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a current ratio of 0.72. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $48.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $48.90.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 28th. The company reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.36 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 268.09% and a net margin of 17.22%. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Altria Group, Inc. will post 4.63 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 12th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.90 per share. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.86. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 14th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 82.57%.

Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc operates as a holding company, which engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States. It operates through the following segments: Smokeable Products, Smokeless Products, and Wine. The Smokeable Products segment comprised of cigarettes manufactured and sold by PM USA and machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco manufactured and sold by Middleton.

Further Reading: Market Perform

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

Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.