Altria Group (MO) Earns Coverage Optimism Score of 0.11

Media coverage about Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research group identifies negative and positive press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Altria Group earned a daily sentiment score of 0.11 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media headlines about the company an impact score of 46.4788443953984 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern’s rankings:

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MO has been the topic of several research reports. Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. Berenberg Bank raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 target price (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.53.

Shares of NYSE:MO traded down $0.60 on Monday, hitting $63.25. The company had a trading volume of 7,270,008 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,174,461. 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 52-week low of $59.07 and a 52-week high of $77.79. The company has a market capitalization of $121,343.66, a P/E ratio of 18.71, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The business also recently disclosed 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. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.43%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.11% 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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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