Altria Group (NYSE:MO) – Equities researchers at Jefferies Group issued their FY2016 EPS estimates for Altria Group in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst O. Bennett anticipates that the firm will post earnings of $3.07 per share for the year. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s FY2017 earnings at $3.36 EPS.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. The company earned $6.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.01 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 198.82% and a net margin of 22.05%. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 EPS.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on MO. Vetr cut Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.13 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, June 6th. Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price target on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, June 27th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $69.00 price target (up from $64.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Friday, July 15th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.44.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.25% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $63.96. The company had a trading volume of 2,143,541 shares. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $53.68 and a 52 week high of $70.15. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $65.56 and a 200 day moving average of $64.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $124.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.21 and a beta of 0.48.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 84.72%.

In other Altria Group news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total transaction of $731,830.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total value of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First PREMIER Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $103,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation raised its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Finally, CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.29% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MO

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