Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the fourteen brokerages that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $73.66.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. Jefferies Group upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down $1.43 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,860,103 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,792,743. Altria Group has a 1 year low of $60.01 and a 1 year high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The stock has a market cap of $122,030.00, a P/E ratio of 12.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.53.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total value of $410,345.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MO. Bellwether Investment Group LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 4,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $331,000 after acquiring an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 0.6% in the 2nd 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 Altria Group by 1.0% in the 2nd 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 Altria Group by 0.5% in the 2nd 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. Finally, Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 1.1% in the 2nd 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. 63.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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.
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