Investors Sell Altria Group (MO) on Strength (MO)

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Traders sold shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on strength during trading hours on Friday. $73.49 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $107.14 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $33.65 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Altria Group had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Altria Group traded up $0.61 for the day and closed at $62.07

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. Bank of America set a $70.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Friday, August 24th. ValuEngine upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their price objective on Altria Group from $78.00 to $65.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.95.

The stock has a market cap of $119.58 billion, a PE ratio of 18.36, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.31.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 48.88% and a net margin of 42.00%. The business’s revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th will be given a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.16%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 82.84%.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total value of $184,962.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Morgan Stanley lifted its position in Altria Group by 49.6% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 16,461,864 shares of the company’s stock worth $934,869,000 after acquiring an additional 5,454,989 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 14.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 37,263,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,116,214,000 after acquiring an additional 4,613,088 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,589,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,870,481,000 after acquiring an additional 4,581,335 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $178,215,000. Finally, Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 354.6% during the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 3,883,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $220,551,000 after acquiring an additional 3,029,307 shares during the period. 63.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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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