Altria (MO) Expected to Announce Quarterly Sales of $5.00 Billion

Wall Street analysts predict that Altria (NYSE:MO) will report $5.00 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have made estimates for Altria’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $5.10 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $4.90 billion. Altria posted sales of $5.07 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year over year growth rate of 1.4%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, July 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria will report full year sales of $19.63 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $19.46 billion to $19.87 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $20.04 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $19.50 billion to $20.85 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that cover Altria.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $4.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. Altria had a return on equity of 49.92% and a net margin of 41.85%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.73 earnings per share.

Several research analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, April 9th. Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Altria in a research note on Monday, March 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Altria and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $72.08.

Shares of NYSE MO traded up $1.17 during trading on Monday, hitting $57.16. The company had a trading volume of 426,346 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,823,589. The stock has a market capitalization of $106.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.92, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.63. Altria has a 52 week low of $53.91 and a 52 week high of $76.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.65.

Altria declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, May 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.84%.

In other Altria news, Director Mark Newman acquired 5,345 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 6,022 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $338,376.18. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter valued at about $120,000. Smart Portfolios LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the first quarter worth approximately $129,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the fourth quarter worth approximately $134,000. Centerpoint Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 73.7% during the first quarter. Centerpoint Advisors LLC now owns 2,355 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 999 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the first quarter worth approximately $147,000. Institutional investors own 63.04% of the company’s stock.

About Altria

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Altria (NYSE:MO)

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