Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Shares Down 0.6%

Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOGet Free Report)’s share price fell 0.6% on Monday . The company traded as low as $43.35 and last traded at $43.36. 4,823,173 shares changed hands during trading, a decline of 59% from the average session volume of 11,646,490 shares. The stock had previously closed at $43.62.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, March 25th. UBS Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $36.10 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, StockNews.com raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.82.

View Our Latest Analysis on MO

Altria Group Stock Performance

The firm has a market capitalization of $74.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.65. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $41.64 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $41.50.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Free Report) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $5.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.06 billion. Altria Group had a negative return on equity of 244.55% and a net margin of 33.21%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.18 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group, Inc. will post 5.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be issued a $0.98 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 22nd. This represents a $3.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 9.31%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 85.78%.

Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Institutional Trading of Altria Group

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Centre Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.0% during the first quarter. Centre Asset Management LLC now owns 255,872 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,161,000 after acquiring an additional 5,025 shares in the last quarter. First Financial Bank Trust Division raised its holdings in Altria Group by 7.1% during the first quarter. First Financial Bank Trust Division now owns 7,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $319,000 after buying an additional 485 shares in the last quarter. Kapitalo Investimentos Ltda bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $805,000. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in Altria Group by 5.7% during the fourth quarter. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 14,827 shares of the company’s stock valued at $598,000 after buying an additional 799 shares in the last quarter. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $3,008,000. 57.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria Group Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; large cigars and pipe tobacco under the Black & Mild brand; moist smokeless tobacco and snus products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands; oral nicotine pouches under the on! brand; and e-vapor products under the NJOY ACE brand.

Further Reading

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