Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a research report issued on Monday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set a “buy” rating on the stock.
A number of other brokerages also recently commented on MO. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $67.97 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Wells Fargo lifted their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Piper Jaffray lifted their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $75.14.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at $59.27 on Monday. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $59.07 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $112,639.61, a PE ratio of 11.14, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock 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. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $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 in the last ninety days. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 4,734.7% in the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 106,530 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new stake in Altria Group in the 3rd quarter worth about $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 557.0% in the 3rd quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth about $120,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.57% of the company’s stock.
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Altria Group Company Profile
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.
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