Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 1.2% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $70.14 and last traded at $69.88, with a volume of 4,592,300 shares. The stock had previously closed at $69.02.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.76 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 17th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $63.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price target for the company. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, May 17th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $67.01.

The stock’s 50 day moving average is $65.68 and its 200 day moving average is $62.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $136.37 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.16.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.04. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. The business earned $3.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.41 billion. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 11th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be paid a $0.565 dividend. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.24%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 13th.

In other news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.66, for a total transaction of $190,980.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 23,246 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,479,840.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 20th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $63.20 per share, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 31,630 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,999,016. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 21,038,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,224,631,000 after buying an additional 1,246,488 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 11,184,442 shares of the company’s stock worth $651,046,000 after buying an additional 382,074 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 4,120,094 shares of the company’s stock worth $239,831,000 after buying an additional 54,800 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,722,738 shares of the company’s stock worth $216,717,000 after buying an additional 249,380 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 3,023,507 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,782,000 after buying an additional 14,904 shares during the last quarter.

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. 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 large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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