Investors purchased shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $138.34 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $89.71 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $48.63 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Altria Group had the 19th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($1.52) for the day and closed at $60.00
A number of research analysts have recently commented on MO shares. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.45 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $75.14.
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 company has a market cap of $118,740.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.28, a PEG ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.67%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.63%.
Altria Group announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Altria Group news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $199,488.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its position in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Cheviot Value Management LLC raised its position in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 5,757 shares of the company’s stock worth $429,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. now owns 3,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $233,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $437,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. 62.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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