Shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the sixteen analysts that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seven have given a hold recommendation and seven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $53.29.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MO. Bank of America set a $54.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Citigroup raised their target price on Altria Group from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $44.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 24th.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 147,103,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,965,342,000 after purchasing an additional 525,023 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in Altria Group by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,731,425 shares of the company’s stock worth $886,937,000 after purchasing an additional 514,526 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 5.3% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 16,374,473 shares of the company’s stock worth $775,331,000 after purchasing an additional 817,834 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Altria Group by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 14,453,582 shares of the company’s stock worth $684,378,000 after purchasing an additional 552,118 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Altria Group by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 8,811,852 shares of the company’s stock worth $417,241,000 after purchasing an additional 870,944 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 63.31% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group stock traded down $1.41 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $46.93. 9,747,962 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,247,152. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $39.30 and a 12-month high of $57.88. The stock has a market capitalization of $89.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.76, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.41. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $44.76 and a 200-day simple moving average of $47.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.53, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.27.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.04. Altria Group had a return on equity of 56.17% and a net margin of 7.00%. The firm had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.34 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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