Wells Fargo & Company reissued their outperform rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a report published on Monday. They currently have a $80.00 target price on the stock.

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on MO. Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $74.89 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Altria Group from an underperform rating to a sector perform rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday. BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $72.97.

Altria Group (MO) traded down 0.175% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $65.425. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,280,791 shares. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $126.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.628 and a beta of 0.61. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $73.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.05.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

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Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.19%.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th. The shares were 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 owns 112,457 shares in the company, valued at $7,952,959.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 21.5% in the second quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 142,021 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,509,000 after buying an additional 25,085 shares during the last quarter. Comprehensive Portfolio Management LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the second quarter valued at $588,000. Financial Advisors Network Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 1.2% in the second quarter. Financial Advisors Network Inc. now owns 12,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $902,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 2.5% in the second quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 484,930 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,114,000 after buying an additional 11,628 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital Investment Counsel Inc boosted its stake in Altria Group by 36.3% in the second quarter. Capital Investment Counsel Inc now owns 4,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $311,000 after buying an additional 1,113 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.97% of the company’s stock.

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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