Altria Group Inc (MO) Receives Average Rating of “Hold” from Brokerages

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the fifteen brokerages that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $72.86.

Several research firms have recently commented on MO. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.29 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, December 28th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Stillwater Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 1,303.0% in the fourth quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 54,717 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,764,000 after buying an additional 50,817 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 36.9% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 208,401 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,217,000 after acquiring an additional 56,136 shares during the period. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 14.1% in the third quarter. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd now owns 381,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,182,000 after acquiring an additional 47,000 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.4% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,245,743 shares of the company’s stock worth $269,265,000 after acquiring an additional 16,747 shares during the period. Finally, Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 90.6% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 5,193 shares of the company’s stock worth $329,000 after acquiring an additional 2,468 shares during the period. 62.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down $0.09 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $70.31. 6,050,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,160,000. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month 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. The stock has a market cap of $134,160.00, a PE ratio of 8.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. Altria Group had a net margin of 60.37% and a return on equity of 49.43%. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.22 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.82 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Altria Group will post 3.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 21st will be given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 20th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.75%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.00%.

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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.

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