Ausdal Financial Partners Inc. Sells 2,197 Shares of Altria Group Inc (MO)

Ausdal Financial Partners Inc. reduced its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 7.6% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 26,690 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,197 shares during the quarter. Altria Group comprises approximately 0.7% of Ausdal Financial Partners Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position. Ausdal Financial Partners Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,906,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Manhattan Co. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 22.8% in the 4th quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,125,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,373,000 after acquiring an additional 208,935 shares during the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 6.1% in the 4th quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 23,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,661,000 after acquiring an additional 1,342 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 845,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $62,906,000 after acquiring an additional 15,715 shares during the last quarter. Alley Co LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Alley Co LLC now owns 102,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,355,000 after acquiring an additional 904 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 499,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,671,000 after acquiring an additional 14,458 shares during the last quarter. 62.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $199,488.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 over the last 90 days. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on MO. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.14.

MO stock opened at $61.52 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $120,089.37, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.56, a PEG ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. Altria Group Inc has a twelve month low of $60.01 and a twelve month high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. research analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans 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, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.55%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.63%.

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About Altria Group

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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