Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the sixteen ratings firms that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have issued a hold recommendation and seven have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $59.39.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MO. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Altria Group from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th.

Shares of MO traded up $0.80 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $46.78. 5,671,265 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,687,593. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $48.51. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $66.04. The stock has a market cap of $86.23 billion, a PE ratio of 11.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.10. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The business’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI raised its holdings in Altria Group by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI now owns 38,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,892,000 after acquiring an additional 770 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Altria Group by 1.6% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,006,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,655,000 after acquiring an additional 93,073 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 24,928,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,229,235,000 after acquiring an additional 1,908,626 shares in the last quarter. Colony Group LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 17.6% in the 4th quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 14,776 shares of the company’s stock valued at $730,000 after acquiring an additional 2,213 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital Financial Planning LLC acquired a new position in Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at $158,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.25% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

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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