Altria Group (MO) Releases FY18 Earnings Guidance

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) updated its FY18 earnings guidance on Wednesday. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $3.90-4.03 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $3.99.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. 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 note 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 note on Tuesday, February 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a sector perform rating and issued a $62.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their price target on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $73.66.

Shares of Altria Group (MO) opened at $63.93 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. Altria Group has a fifty-two week low of $60.01 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $122,486.72, a P/E ratio of 18.93, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.53.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter worth $243,000. Koch Industries Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 3,300.8% in the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 288,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $285,000 after purchasing an additional 280,038 shares during the last quarter. National Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.9% in the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 68,248 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,085,000 after purchasing an additional 619 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.4% in the second quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 528,837 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,382,000 after purchasing an additional 1,961 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Krilogy Financial LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.1% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 13,692 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,020,000 after purchasing an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.01% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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

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