Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the eighteen analysts that are covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have given a hold recommendation, eight have issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $66.72.

A number of analysts have commented on the company. Argus lifted their price target on Altria Group from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Alpha Windward LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1,556.7% in the 4th quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 1,110 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,000 after buying an additional 1,043 shares during the period. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $103,000. Investment Partners LTD. purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $4,246,000. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 165.5% in the 2nd quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,385 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 445.9% in the 3rd quarter. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC now owns 2,631 shares of the company’s stock valued at $159,000 after purchasing an additional 2,149 shares in the last quarter. 64.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MO stock traded up $0.10 on Friday, hitting $45.07. 253,304 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,027,485. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $44.57 and a 12-month high of $71.86. 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 company has a market cap of $90.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 0.46.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 48.31% and a net margin of 42.13%. The firm had revenue of $5.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.22 billion. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 26th were issued a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 24th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.10%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 94.67%.

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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