Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the eighteen research firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have given a hold recommendation and eleven have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $50.79.
MO has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, March 23rd. Cfra increased their target price on Altria Group from $42.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 30th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, April 1st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $35.00 price target for the company. Citigroup reduced their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $60.00 to $45.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 7th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Thursday, April 2nd.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. CVA Family Office LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at $49,000. Optimal Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 67.0% during the 1st quarter. Optimal Asset Management Inc. now owns 65,241 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,523,000 after acquiring an additional 26,173 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service increased its holdings in Altria Group by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. National Pension Service now owns 2,251,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,072,000 after purchasing an additional 25,555 shares in the last quarter. Verus Capital Partners LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 13.0% in the first quarter. Verus Capital Partners LLC now owns 14,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $567,000 after purchasing an additional 1,686 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FDx Advisors Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 26.1% in the first quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 53,410 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,065,000 after purchasing an additional 11,043 shares during the last quarter. 63.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.11. Altria Group had a negative net margin of 3.33% and a positive return on equity of 84.55%. The firm had revenue of $4.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.51 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.90 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.24 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be given a $0.84 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 12th. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.56%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.62%.
About Altria Group
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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