Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report published on Monday morning. The firm currently has $76.87 target price on the stock.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Berenberg Bank restated a hold rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Royal Bank of Canada restated a sector perform rating and issued a $62.00 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $73.66.

Altria Group (MO) opened at $65.18 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The company has a market cap of $124,380.00, a PE ratio of 12.23, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.53. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $60.01 and a 1-year high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Biltmore Family Office LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $3,870,000. LPL Financial LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 37.1% in the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 943,141 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,350,000 after purchasing an additional 254,969 shares during the last quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,250,000. Covington Capital Management raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.3% in the 4th quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 60,403 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,313,000 after purchasing an additional 803 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rodgers Brothers Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $206,000. 62.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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