Principal Financial Group Inc. Sells 14,631 Shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO)

Principal Financial Group Inc. lowered its stake in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOFree Report) by 0.7% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 1,950,570 shares of the company’s stock after selling 14,631 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $78,686,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. FSC Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Altria Group by 21.3% during the 4th quarter. FSC Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,719 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 477 shares in the last quarter. Bruce G. Allen Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $39,000. KPP Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $3,128,000. Axxcess Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 293.6% during the 3rd quarter. Axxcess Wealth Management LLC now owns 55,546 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,336,000 after acquiring an additional 41,432 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,011,345 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,727,000 after acquiring an additional 4,789 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.41% of the company’s stock.

Insider Activity

In related news, VP Charles N. Whitaker sold 22,487 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.95, for a total transaction of $988,303.65. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 173,485 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,624,665.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MO. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $36.10 to $36.50 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. StockNews.com cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, April 14th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, March 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.90.

View Our Latest Report on MO

Altria Group Stock Performance

Shares of MO stock opened at $45.05 on Tuesday. Altria Group, Inc. has a 52-week low of $39.06 and a 52-week high of $46.34. The stock has a market cap of $77.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.42, a PEG ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.66. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $42.84 and its 200-day moving average is $41.55.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.15. The firm had revenue of $4.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.71 billion. Altria Group had a negative return on equity of 222.80% and a net margin of 34.81%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.18 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group, Inc. will post 5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 1.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Altria Group Dividend Announcement

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 25th were issued a $0.98 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 22nd. This represents a $3.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.70%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.01%.

Altria Group Company Profile

(Free Report)

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; large cigars and pipe tobacco under the Black & Mild brand; moist smokeless tobacco and snus products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands; oral nicotine pouches under the on! brand; and e-vapor products under the NJOY ACE brand.

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

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