Jefferies Group LLC restated their hold rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a research report sent to investors on Monday. Jefferies Group LLC currently has a $70.00 target price on the stock, down from their prior target price of $71.00.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an overweight rating and a $76.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Cowen and Company reissued a hold rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $80.18 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $72.34.

Shares of Altria Group (MO) opened at 73.59 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $75.10 and its 200-day moving average is $72.87. The company has a market capitalization of $142.69 billion, a PE ratio of 9.96 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.82 and a one year high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $4.59 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 76.43% and a net margin of 55.99%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.72 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.02%.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. boosted its position in Altria Group by 133.3% in the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Advantage Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $116,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 97.4% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 821 shares during the period. Finally, Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new position in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at $134,000. Institutional investors own 62.01% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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