Altria Group (NYSE:MO) – Research analysts at Jefferies Group issued their Q3 2016 earnings estimates for shares of Altria Group in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst O. Bennett forecasts that the brokerage will earn $0.81 per share for the quarter. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $70.00 price target on the stock.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $6.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.01 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 198.82% and a net margin of 22.05%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 EPS.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Vetr cut shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.67 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. Credit Agricole SA decreased their target price on shares of Altria Group from $69.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Argus set a $73.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.44.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 62.69 on Wednesday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $63.89 and a 200-day moving average of $64.96. The company has a market cap of $122.50 billion, a PE ratio of 21.77 and a beta of 0.52. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $56.15 and a 52-week high of $70.15.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. First PREMIER Bank bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter valued at $103,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 66.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,603 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 639 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 26.6% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 1,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 348 shares in the last quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,073 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 48.4% in the second quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 643 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.29% of the company’s stock.

In related news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total transaction of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a $0.61 dividend. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.89%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 84.72%.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. 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 large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MO

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