Investors purchased shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $94.85 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $57.23 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $37.62 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Altria Group had the 19th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.97) for the day and closed at $66.37

Several research firms recently issued reports on MO. Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective (up from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, June 27th. Argus raised shares of 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 report on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.23 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 13th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.98.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $67.97 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $129.69 billion and a P/E ratio of 23.05.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $6.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.01 billion. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 11th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $2.26 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 23,246 shares in the company, valued at $1,479,840.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab acquired 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The stock was bought 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $1,999,016. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Several institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Columbia Asset Management increased its position in Altria Group by 9.1% in the fourth quarter. Columbia Asset Management now owns 18,016 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,048,000 after buying an additional 1,499 shares in the last quarter. Burney Co. increased its position in Altria Group by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 17,989 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,048,000 after buying an additional 1,108 shares in the last quarter. Carleon Capital Partners LLC bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,054,000. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased 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 valued at $1,075,000 after buying an additional 156 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Philadelphia Trust Co. increased its position in Altria Group by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia Trust Co. now owns 20,072 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,156,000 after buying an additional 1,210 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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