Altria Group (NYSE:MO) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, August 24th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of 0.66 per share on Tuesday, October 10th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61.

Altria Group has raised its dividend by an average of 8.6% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 8 consecutive years. Altria Group has a dividend payout ratio of 80.7% indicating that its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings tumble. Research analysts expect Altria Group to earn $3.57 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.64 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 73.9%.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.6197% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $62.8873. 2,279,346 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $65.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $71.55. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The company has a market cap of $121.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.2932 and a beta of 0.63.

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

In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pinebridge Investments L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 504.0% in the 2nd quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 204,996 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,266,000 after buying an additional 171,054 shares in the last quarter. Beaumont Financial Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $264,000. Trustmark National Bank Trust Department boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Trustmark National Bank Trust Department now owns 24,184 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,801,000 after buying an additional 1,004 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 10.8% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 6,242,688 shares of the company’s stock valued at $464,893,000 after buying an additional 609,757 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2,867.9% in the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 617,568 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,989,000 after buying an additional 596,760 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.89% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $80.18 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $71.81.

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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.

Dividend History for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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