Piper Jaffray Companies Reiterates Buy Rating for Altria Group (MO)

Piper Jaffray Companies reissued their buy rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a research report report published on Friday, October 27th. They currently have a $76.00 price target on the stock.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on MO. Cowen and Company restated a hold rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. BidaskClub downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $70.00 target price (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $79.51 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $72.04.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at $65.73 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $125,430.00, a P/E ratio of 20.58, a P/E/G ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.60. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.77.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.43% and a net margin of 60.37%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.82 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 3.28 EPS for the current year.

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Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cadinha & Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 34.8% in the second quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC now owns 9,301 shares of the company’s stock worth $693,000 after buying an additional 2,401 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH boosted its position in Altria Group by 164.9% during the second quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 244,398 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,149,000 after purchasing an additional 152,121 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the second quarter valued at $1,120,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.6% during the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 1,763,350 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,317,000 after purchasing an additional 76,988 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westwood Holdings Group Inc. boosted its position in Altria Group by 10.3% during the first quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 155,121 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,079,000 after purchasing an additional 14,444 shares during the last quarter. 62.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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