Altria Group (NYSE:MO) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, August 24th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of 0.66 per share on Tuesday, October 10th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61.

Altria Group has raised its dividend payment by an average of 8.6% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 8 years. Altria Group has a payout ratio of 80.7% indicating that its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings fall. Research analysts expect Altria Group to earn $3.57 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.64 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 73.9%.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) opened at 62.23 on Friday. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $65.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $71.66. The stock has a market cap of $119.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.21 and a beta of 0.63.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

MO has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price objective on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.81.

Altria Group announced that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Payden & Rygel grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.1% in the second quarter. Payden & Rygel now owns 425,184 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,663,000 after buying an additional 16,700 shares in the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 23.1% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,576,655 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,413,000 after buying an additional 296,153 shares in the last quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.3% in the second quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 2,006,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,646,000 after buying an additional 63,217 shares in the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.0% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 25,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,885,000 after buying an additional 727 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,496,859,000 after buying an additional 8,969,677 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.89% of the company’s stock.

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.

Dividend History for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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