Traders bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading hours 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

MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Argus upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $62.93 to $68.00 in a report on Monday, May 9th. Cowen and Company increased their target price on Altria Group from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.92 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the company from $61.41 to $66.00 in a research note on Thursday, March 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $67.01.

The firm has a market cap of $136.59 billion and a P/E ratio of 25.20. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $66.05 and a 200-day moving average price of $62.36.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.04. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. The firm had revenue of $3.92 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.41 billion. The company’s revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post $3.06 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 11th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be given a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 13th. This represents a $2.26 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.24%.

In related news, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab purchased 4,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $63.20 per share, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 31,630 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,999,016. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the chief executive officer now owns 23,246 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,479,840.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Savant Capital LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 55.0% in the fourth quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 17,413 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,014,000 after buying an additional 6,177 shares during the period. Columbia Asset Management raised its stake in Altria Group by 9.1% in the fourth quarter. Columbia Asset Management now owns 18,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,048,000 after buying an additional 1,499 shares during the period. Burney Co. raised its stake in Altria Group by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 17,989 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,048,000 after buying an additional 1,108 shares during the period. Carleon Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,054,000. Finally, TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its stake 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 during the period.

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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