Investors bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $120.96 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $58.08 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $62.88 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria Group had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.40) for the day and closed at $72.24

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MO. BidaskClub lowered shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 target price (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $80.38 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.34.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $74.79 and its 200 day moving average is $73.00. The stock has a market cap of $142.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.91 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 55.99% and a return on equity of 76.43%. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.81 EPS. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.40%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 33.02%.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,952,959.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ancora Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 253.5% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 17,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,177,000 after buying an additional 12,482 shares during the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,001,000. Hilltop Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 51,691 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,495,000 after buying an additional 1,910 shares during the last quarter. Kingdon Capital Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $17,749,000. Finally, Soros Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $352,000. 61.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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.

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