Wall Street brokerages expect that Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) will post $4.62 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have made estimates for Altria Group’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $4.58 billion and the highest is $4.66 billion. Altria Group reported sales of $4.59 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 0.7%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Tuesday, May 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year sales of $19.76 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $19.54 billion to $19.97 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $20.26 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $19.91 billion to $20.58 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Altria Group.

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Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 9th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Altria Group in a research report on Monday, March 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 target price (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.53.

NYSE MO opened at $64.25 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $121,533.71, a PE ratio of 19.01, a PEG ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $59.07 and a 1-year high of $77.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.36%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.84%.

In other Altria Group news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Balentine LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Oak Point Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the third quarter worth $114,000. Finally, Northwest Investment Counselors LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,543 shares during the last quarter. 62.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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