Investors Buy Shares of Altria Group (MO) on Weakness
Traders bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading on Monday. $52.31 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $33.69 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $18.62 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Altria Group had the 20th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.08) for the day and closed at $62.72
A number of equities analysts recently commented on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $72.13 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Altria Group in a report on Monday, September 12th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price target for the company. Credit Agricole SA reduced their price target on Altria Group from $69.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Finally, Berenberg Bank started coverage on Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price target for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.41.
The firm has a market capitalization of $122.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.78 and a beta of 0.48. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $65.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.93.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 22.05% and a return on equity of 198.82%. The business earned $6.52 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.89%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 84.72%.
In other news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total transaction of $731,830.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total transaction of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. First PREMIER Bank bought a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter worth $103,000. First Personal Financial Services increased its position in Altria Group by 66.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,603 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 639 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its position in Altria Group by 26.6% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 1,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 348 shares in the last quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,073 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation increased its position in Altria Group by 48.4% in the second quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 643 shares in the last quarter. 61.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Altria Group Company Profile
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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