Traders Sell Shares of Altria Group (MO) on Strength (MO)

Investors sold shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on strength during trading on Monday. $61.55 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $130.40 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $68.85 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Altria Group had the 26th highest net out-flow for the day. Altria Group traded up $0.14 for the day and closed at $65.46

A number of brokerages have commented on MO. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.66.

The firm has a market cap of $124,910.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total value of $410,345.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was 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 owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Balentine LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at about $120,000. Oak Point Wealth Management purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at about $120,000. INR Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $134,000. Finally, Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $114,000. Institutional investors own 63.01% of the company’s stock.

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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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