Sterling Investment Management Inc. Reduces Position in Altria Group (MO)

Sterling Investment Management Inc. decreased its holdings in shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 0.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 43,139 shares of the company’s stock after selling 93 shares during the period. Altria Group makes up about 4.2% of Sterling Investment Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest holding. Sterling Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $3,213,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. lifted its stake in Altria Group by 133.3% during the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 4.7% during the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 97.4% during the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after purchasing an additional 821 shares during the last quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 1.9% during the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,752 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter worth about $164,000. 61.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

MO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Vetr lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. BidaskClub raised Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada raised Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Sunday, September 10th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.57.

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Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 62.55 on Monday. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.20 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.90. The stock has a market cap of $120.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.25 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.81 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.66 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.22%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.83%.

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.

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

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