Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has received an average rating of “Hold” from the seventeen analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have assigned a hold recommendation and six have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $72.23.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on MO. Royal Bank Of Canada lowered Altria Group from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $71.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, March 24th. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $74.25 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd.

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

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Acropolis Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 1,939 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. HM Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock valued at $245,000 after buying an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $270,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strategic Financial Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.4% in the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.01% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 0.05% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $73.59. The company had a trading volume of 4,276,526 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $75.15 and its 200-day moving average price is $72.86. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.82 and a one year high of $77.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $142.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.96 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.72 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.28 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.02%.

Altria Group Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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