Traders purchased shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $92.79 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $67.40 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $25.39 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria Group had the 10th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.16) for the day and closed at $68.92

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. Berenberg Bank started coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $69.00 price objective (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.92 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 28th. Cowen and Company upped their price objective on Altria Group from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Finally, Argus raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $62.93 to $68.00 in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $68.19.

The company has a market cap of $135.77 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.05. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $66.89 and its 200 day moving average price is $62.73.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.04. The business earned $3.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.06 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 11th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were paid a $0.565 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.26%.

In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.66, for a total value of $190,980.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 23,246 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,479,840.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab acquired 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 20th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $63.20 per share, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now 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 large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Altria Group by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 21,038,153 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,224,631,000 after buying an additional 1,246,488 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in Altria Group by 83.1% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 2,265,593 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,880,000 after buying an additional 1,028,116 shares during the last quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 3,774.3% in the fourth quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC now owns 984,193 shares of the company’s stock valued at $57,290,000 after buying an additional 958,790 shares during the last quarter. Cedar Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $32,467,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Altria Group by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 11,184,442 shares of the company’s stock valued at $651,046,000 after buying an additional 382,074 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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