Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has $67.97 price target on the stock.

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Berenberg Bank reissued a hold rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Cowen raised Altria Group from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and upped their target price for the company from $64.00 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $72.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $72.64.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) opened at $71.79 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 0.77 and a quick ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $136,855.39, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.62. Altria Group has a twelve month low of $60.01 and a twelve month high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.43% and a net margin of 60.37%. Altria Group’s revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.82 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 20th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 33.04%.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of MO. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 21,647.0% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 19,831,702 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,476,867,000 after purchasing an additional 19,740,509 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,496,859,000 after purchasing an additional 8,969,677 shares during the period. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 27.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,065,018,000 after purchasing an additional 8,914,575 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,129,659,000 after purchasing an additional 2,690,270 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 67.7% in the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,893,005 shares of the company’s stock worth $310,314,000 after purchasing an additional 1,974,500 shares during the period. 62.70% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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