Altria Group (NYSE:MO) had its price target reduced by Citigroup Inc. from $80.00 to $75.00 in a research note released on Monday. They currently have a buy rating on the stock.

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on MO. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. BidaskClub downgraded Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $70.00 target price (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $72.06.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down $0.32 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $63.90. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,652,439 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,880,811. The company has a market capitalization of $121.93 billion, a PE ratio of 20.22 and a beta of 0.60.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate 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 for the quarter was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.82 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 33.04%.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in Altria Group by 21,647.0% during 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. increased its position in Altria Group by 7.6% during 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 increased its position in Altria Group by 27.6% during 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. increased its position in Altria Group by 2.0% during 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. increased its position in Altria Group by 67.7% during 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. Institutional investors own 61.92% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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