Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, August 22nd, Zacks reports. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of 0.84 per share on Thursday, October 10th. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80.
Altria Group has raised its dividend payment by an average of 10.4% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 10 years. Altria Group has a payout ratio of 84.0% meaning its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings fall. Equities research analysts expect Altria Group to earn $4.47 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.36 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 75.2%.
Shares of NYSE MO traded up $0.29 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $44.54. 13,082,266 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,609,659. The firm has a market capitalization of $82.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.16, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $42.40 and a 52-week high of $66.04. The company’s 50-day moving average is $46.40 and its 200-day moving average is $51.00.
Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Several brokerages have recently commented on MO. TheStreet lowered shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 14th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley raised Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies cut Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research note on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $58.57.
Altria Group Company Profile
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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