Investors bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading hours on Friday after Vetr downgraded the stock from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating. $100.22 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $62.13 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $38.09 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Altria Group had the 15th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.87) for the day and closed at $64.92
MO has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.71.
In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the 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 completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Waldron LP increased its stake in Altria Group by 17.1% in the 1st quarter. Waldron LP now owns 26,627 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,901,000 after buying an additional 3,896 shares during the last quarter. Exane Derivatives increased its stake in Altria Group by 1,655.6% in the 1st quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 17,556 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,254,000 after buying an additional 16,556 shares during the last quarter. Barrett Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. Barrett Asset Management LLC now owns 30,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,164,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Deroy & Devereaux Private Investment Counsel Inc. purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at about $201,000. Finally, Tarbox Group Inc. increased its stake in Altria Group by 50.5% in the 1st quarter. Tarbox Group Inc. now owns 7,232 shares of the company’s stock valued at $517,000 after buying an additional 2,426 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.74% of the company’s stock.
The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.54 and its 200-day moving average is $69.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $125.17 billion, a PE ratio of 8.56 and a beta of 0.64.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 60.37% and a return on equity of 49.43%. The business’s revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.04%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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