Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. Sells 1,196 Shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)

Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. lowered its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 1.3% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 87,602 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,196 shares during the quarter. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $4,148,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Grimes & Company Inc. raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 9.3% in the first quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $481,000 after acquiring an additional 717 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,520,337,000 after acquiring an additional 31,883,878 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 78.2% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 347,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,929,000 after acquiring an additional 152,302 shares during the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 15.4% in the first quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 54,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,156,000 after acquiring an additional 7,339 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bowling Portfolio Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $2,502,000. Institutional investors own 62.72% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MO shares. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.74.

MO stock remained flat at $$43.85 during trading on Friday. 10,423,079 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,987,388. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $47.05 and a 200-day simple moving average of $51.14. Altria Group Inc has a 1 year low of $42.40 and a 1 year high of $66.04. The company has a market cap of $82.76 billion, a PE ratio of 10.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.38.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The firm had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.66%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 80.20%.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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.

Featured Article: Recession

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MO? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO).

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.