Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Monday. The firm currently has $71.89 price objective on the stock.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on MO. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and issued a $70.00 price target (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $72.06.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) opened at $64.51 on Monday. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $60.01 and a 1-year high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $122,580.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.35, a P/E/G ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14.

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

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

In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MO. Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $264,000. Sfmg LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.2% in the 1st quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 11,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $855,000 after purchasing an additional 371 shares in the last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 36.8% in the 1st quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 6,659 shares of the company’s stock valued at $476,000 after purchasing an additional 1,791 shares in the last quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.8% in the 1st quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN now owns 57,287 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,091,000 after purchasing an additional 444 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Grimes & Company Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 95.4% in the 1st quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,231 shares of the company’s stock valued at $587,000 after purchasing an additional 4,018 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.30% 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.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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