Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was downgraded by equities research analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

MO has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their target price on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $65.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 27th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Finally, Bank of America set a $70.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.87.

Shares of Altria Group stock traded down $1.20 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $60.00. The company had a trading volume of 11,642,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,887,728. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.60 and a quick ratio of 0.36. The firm has a market cap of $119.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.40. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $53.91 and a 1-year high of $74.38.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 42.13% and a return on equity of 48.31%. The business had revenue of $5.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group will post 3.99 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 2.8% in the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,036,027 shares of the company’s stock valued at $189,205,000 after acquiring an additional 81,646 shares in the last quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 21.3% in the 2nd quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. now owns 7,036 shares of the company’s stock valued at $400,000 after acquiring an additional 1,236 shares in the last quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. lifted its position in Altria Group by 155.0% in the 2nd quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 10,694 shares of the company’s stock valued at $610,000 after acquiring an additional 6,500 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH lifted its position in Altria Group by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 180,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,444,000 after acquiring an additional 4,237 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Asset Planning Services Inc. LA ADV lifted its position in Altria Group by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Asset Planning Services Inc. LA ADV now owns 68,065 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,865,000 after acquiring an additional 930 shares in the last quarter. 63.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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