Vetr Inc. Downgrades Altria Group (MO) to Buy

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was downgraded by Vetr from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. They presently have a $71.65 target price on the stock. Vetr‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 9.01% from the stock’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on MO. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 17th. BidaskClub downgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.04.

Shares of Altria Group (MO) opened at $65.73 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $125,430.00, a PE ratio of 20.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.60. 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 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, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.43% and a net margin of 60.37%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 3.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. lifted its stake in Altria Group by 133.3% in the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 65.7% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after purchasing an additional 557 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group purchased a new position in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $109,000. Balentine LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NewSquare Capital LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 4,734.7% in the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 106,530 shares in the last quarter. 62.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Altria Group

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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