Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Releases FY17 Earnings Guidance

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) issued an update on its FY17 earnings guidance on Wednesday morning. The company provided earnings per share guidance of 3.26-3.32 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $3.26.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 0.002% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $62.501. 5,442,664 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $65.03 and its 200-day moving average price is $71.46. The stock has a market cap of $120.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.242 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.19%.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Several equities analysts have commented on MO shares. BidaskClub cut shares of Altria Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $80.18 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their target price on shares of Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a hold rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $71.81.

In related news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 2.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,129,659,000 after acquiring an additional 2,690,270 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 7.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,496,859,000 after acquiring an additional 8,969,677 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its position in Altria Group by 27.6% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,065,018,000 after acquiring an additional 8,914,575 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Altria Group by 21,647.0% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 19,831,702 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,476,867,000 after acquiring an additional 19,740,509 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 10.8% during the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 6,242,688 shares of the company’s stock valued at $464,893,000 after acquiring an additional 609,757 shares in the last quarter. 61.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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