Traders bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $100.50 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $56.22 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $44.28 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Altria Group had the 4th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.42) for the day and closed at $69.30

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price target (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Vetr lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.13 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 6th. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reissued 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. Altria Group has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $67.01.

The company has a market capitalization of $135.55 billion and a PE ratio of 25.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $65.86 and its 200 day moving average is $62.27.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.04. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.63 EPS. The business earned $3.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.41 billion. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current 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 given a $0.565 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 13th. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.26%.

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

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Jennison Associates raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates now owns 47,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,584,000 after buying an additional 129 shares in the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 18,469 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,075,000 after buying an additional 156 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. now owns 35,180 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,048,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. West Chester Capital Advisors Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. West Chester Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 29,508 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,718,000 after buying an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 39,297 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,287,000 after buying an additional 308 shares in 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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