Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. decreased its holdings in shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) by 14.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 97,480 shares of the company’s stock after selling 16,048 shares during the period. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc.’s holdings in Altria were worth $6,075,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Oak Point Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Smart Portfolios LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria during the first quarter valued at approximately $129,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $134,000. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria by 1,202.0% during the fourth quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 1,953 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 1,803 shares during the last quarter. 63.09% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria opened at $55.74 on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The firm has a market cap of $105.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.49, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.63. Altria has a twelve month low of $53.91 and a twelve month high of $77.79.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $4.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. Altria had a return on equity of 49.92% and a net margin of 41.85%. Altria’s revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Altria will post 4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.02%. Altria’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

Altria announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. Vetr raised Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria in a report on Monday, February 5th. ValuEngine lowered Altria from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price target (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.42.

In related news, Director Mark Newman bought 5,345 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 30th. The stock was bought at an average price of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at $338,376.18. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Altria Profile

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria (NYSE:MO)

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