Traders sold shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on strength during trading on Friday. $41.52 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $86.37 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $44.85 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Altria Group had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Altria Group traded up $0.56 for the day and closed at $66.88

MO has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 11th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $77.35 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $69.00 target price (up from $64.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, July 15th. Argus set a $73.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, June 27th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.31.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $67.06 and its 200-day moving average is $64.63. The firm has a market cap of $130.68 billion and a PE ratio of 23.22.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.74 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $6.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.01 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.65%.

In other news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total value of $600,120.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. South Texas Money Management Ltd. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 25,916 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,509,000 after buying an additional 1,217 shares during the period. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 92.3% in the fourth quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. now owns 64,964 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,782,000 after buying an additional 31,174 shares during the period. Baird Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 20.7% in the fourth quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 177,781 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,349,000 after buying an additional 30,497 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Altria Group by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,722,738 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,717,000 after buying an additional 249,380 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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