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.
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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