Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday. They currently have $80.38 price objective on the stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada downgraded shares of Altria Group from a sector perform rating to an underperform rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $71.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, March 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an overweight rating and a $76.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $72.36.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.18% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $77.57. 674,551 shares of the stock traded hands. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.82 and a one year high of $77.79. The company’s 50 day moving average is $73.14 and its 200 day moving average is $71.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $150.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.50 and a beta of 0.66.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. Altria Group had a net margin of 55.99% and a return on equity of 76.43%. The business had revenue of $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.72 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be paid a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 33.02%.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 112,457 shares in the company, valued at $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 133.3% in the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Advantage Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth about $116,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. CLS Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 251.9% in the fourth quarter. CLS Investments LLC now owns 1,777 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 1,272 shares during the period. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 97.4% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 821 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 62.04% of the company’s stock.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. 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 cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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