Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) – Analysts at Jefferies Financial Group dropped their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Altria Group in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, October 17th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst O. Bennett now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $4.00 for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.02. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $61.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.99 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.60 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.98 EPS.
Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday. They issued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Altria Group from $59.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Bank of America set a $70.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.28.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 42.00% and a return on equity of 48.88%. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.85 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th were paid a dividend of $0.80 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.17%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 94.67%.
In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total value of $184,962.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 3rd quarter worth $103,000. IMA Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth $106,000. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth $123,000. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 165.5% during the 2nd quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,222 shares of the company’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,385 shares during the period. Finally, Landaas & Co. WI ADV acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth $137,000. 63.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Altria Group
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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