$1.14 EPS Expected for Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) This Quarter

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Brokerages expect Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) to announce $1.14 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have made estimates for Altria Group’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.17 and the lowest is $1.11. Altria Group posted earnings per share of $1.08 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 5.6%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings results on Thursday, October 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full-year earnings of $4.17 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.12 to $4.22. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $4.48 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.29 to $4.57. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.01 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several brokerages recently commented on MO. Citigroup set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. TheStreet lowered shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.74.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MO. FMR LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 68.1% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after buying an additional 31,883,878 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 584.6% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 8,679,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $410,968,000 after acquiring an additional 7,411,523 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 74.0% in the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 4,727,202 shares of the company’s stock valued at $223,833,000 after acquiring an additional 2,010,023 shares during the period. Natixis grew its stake in Altria Group by 428.3% in the 2nd quarter. Natixis now owns 1,846,808 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,447,000 after acquiring an additional 1,497,259 shares during the period. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank grew its stake in Altria Group by 73.2% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,428,023 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,938,000 after acquiring an additional 1,026,362 shares during the period. 64.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:MO traded up $0.99 during trading on Friday, reaching $46.48. The stock had a trading volume of 6,923,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,875,297. Altria Group has a one year low of $42.40 and a one year high of $66.04. The company has a market capitalization of $84.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.65, a PEG ratio of 1.42 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. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $48.38 and its 200 day simple moving average is $51.54.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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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