Altria Group Inc (MO) Receives Average Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) have earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fifteen brokerages that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation, nine have assigned a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $74.91.

A number of analysts have commented on the company. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, March 14th.

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In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on 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 in the company, valued at $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 over the last quarter. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.6% in the second quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 4,912 shares of the company’s stock valued at $366,000 after acquiring an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Cheviot Value Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.0% in the second quarter. Cheviot Value Management LLC now owns 2,928 shares of the company’s stock valued at $218,000 after acquiring an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 5,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,000 after acquiring an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.1% in the second quarter. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. now owns 3,123 shares of the company’s stock valued at $233,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.7% in the second quarter. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $437,000 after acquiring an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.54% of the company’s stock.

MO stock traded down $1.12 during trading on Friday, hitting $59.27. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,996,979 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,916,840. The company has a market cap of $114,768.11, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group has a twelve month low of $59.07 and a twelve month high of $77.79. 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 (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.68 EPS. research analysts expect that Altria Group will post 4.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.72%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 52.63%.

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

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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