Traders bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $55.90 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $43.30 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $12.60 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria Group had the 17th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.21) for the day and closed at $69.01

MO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Bank of America Corp. downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $61.41 to $66.00 in a report on Thursday, March 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.92 price target for the company in a report on Monday, March 28th. Cowen and Company raised their price target on shares of Altria Group from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 29th. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, March 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, April 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $68.67.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $67.25 and a 200-day moving average of $62.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $134.98 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.90.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 period last year, the company earned $0.63 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast 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. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were issued a $0.565 dividend. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th.

In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,000 shares of the company’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 transaction of $190,980.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now 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 accessible through this link. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab acquired 4,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 purchase, the director now directly owns 31,630 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,999,016. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. GAM Holding AG increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 235,022 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,681,000 after buying an additional 4,944 shares during the last quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. increased 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 valued at $177,782,000 after buying an additional 14,904 shares during the last quarter. WFG Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 32,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,911,000 after buying an additional 2,534 shares during the last quarter. SNS Financial Group LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 342.0% in the fourth quarter. SNS Financial Group LLC now owns 30,068 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,750,000 after buying an additional 23,265 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Associates Ltd. increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 224,837 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,088,000 after buying an additional 1,179 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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