Altria Group (MO) Rating Increased to Strong-Buy at Vetr Inc.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was upgraded by research analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $69.00 price target on the stock. Vetr‘s target price points to a potential upside of 12.71% from the stock’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on MO. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, August 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. UBS AG decreased their price target on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.07.

Altria Group (MO) opened at 61.50 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $63.95 and a 200-day moving average of $70.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $118.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.11 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. HM Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 0.3% during the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock worth $270,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 4,451 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 0.4% during the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lafayette Investments Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 0.7% during the first quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. now owns 3,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.85% of the company’s stock.

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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