Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has been assigned a $72.00 price objective by research analysts at Berenberg Bank in a report issued on Sunday. The firm presently has a “hold” rating on the stock. Berenberg Bank’s price target indicates a potential upside of 9.11% from the company’s previous close.

Several other analysts have also commented on the stock. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. UBS AG lowered their price target on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price target on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.66.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 65.99 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $127.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.70 and a beta of 0.61. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $73.93 and a 200-day moving average of $73.05. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $60.01 and a 1-year high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Altria Group news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. State Street Corp increased its position in Altria Group by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,329,771,000 after buying an additional 687,246 shares in the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in Altria Group by 1.8% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 12,736,904 shares of the company’s stock worth $948,518,000 after buying an additional 227,112 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Altria Group by 3.8% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,121,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $679,255,000 after buying an additional 330,687 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Altria Group by 2.7% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 9,038,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $673,135,000 after buying an additional 241,211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in Altria Group by 25.1% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock worth $534,678,000 after buying an additional 1,501,400 shares in the last quarter. 62.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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