Brokerages Expect Altria Group (MO) Will Announce Earnings of $0.82 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages predict that Altria Group (NYSE:MO) will post $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have provided estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.80 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.83. Altria Group reported earnings of $0.68 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 20.6%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year earnings of $3.28 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.27 to $3.30. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $3.56 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.50 to $3.59. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The company’s revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.82 EPS.

MO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 target price for the company 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 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.71.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 1.32% during trading on Friday, reaching $64.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,473,774 shares. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $63.54 and its 200 day moving average is $69.11. The company has a market cap of $125.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.56 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.07%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.83%.

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In other news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,129,659,000 after acquiring an additional 2,690,270 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,496,859,000 after acquiring an additional 8,969,677 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,329,771,000 after acquiring an additional 687,246 shares during the period. Capital World Investors grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 27.6% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,065,018,000 after acquiring an additional 8,914,575 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,802,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,550,057,000 after acquiring an additional 1,040,839 shares during the period. 61.74% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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