Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated their hold rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a research note published on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has a $62.00 price objective on the stock.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub cut Altria Group from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company upgraded Altria Group from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and upped their price objective for the company from $64.00 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $80.18 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $71.57.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 1.763% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $62.685. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,913,210 shares. The firm has a market cap of $120.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.267 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $63.25 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.99.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.01). Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The business had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

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Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.14%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. HM Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock worth $270,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 4,451 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.4% during the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lafayette Investments Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.7% during the first quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. now owns 3,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.85% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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