West Branch Capital LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 42.3% in the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 14,195 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 4,219 shares during the quarter. West Branch Capital LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $672,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Altria Group by 1.6% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,006,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,655,000 after acquiring an additional 93,073 shares during the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 8.7% in the 1st quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC now owns 8,503 shares of the company’s stock worth $488,000 after buying an additional 683 shares during the last quarter. PagnatoKarp Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 90.7% in the 1st quarter. PagnatoKarp Partners LLC now owns 15,053 shares of the company’s stock worth $876,000 after buying an additional 7,160 shares during the last quarter. Silverleafe Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter worth about $862,000. Finally, Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 10.0% in the 1st quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 2,551 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.72% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MO traded up $0.23 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $46.27. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,011,623 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,961,507. The company’s 50-day moving average is $48.30 and its 200-day moving average is $51.45. Altria Group Inc has a 52-week low of $42.40 and a 52-week high of $66.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $85.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.60, a PEG ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results 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 prior year, the company earned $1.01 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

MO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup set a $45.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.74.

Altria Group 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 Group (NYSE:MO)

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