Argus reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $79.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $66.13.
Several other brokerages have also commented on MO. Berenberg Bank upgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Vetr downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $67.97 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Wells Fargo upped their target price on Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $75.14.
Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at $63.19 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $121,267.65, a PE ratio of 11.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.63. 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 has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The firm’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 4.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.43%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.63%.
In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, 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 value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 4,734.7% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 106,530 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,000. 62.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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