Altria Group (NYSE:MO) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Group increased their FY2017 EPS estimates for shares of Altria Group in a research note issued on Friday. Jefferies Group analyst O. Bennett now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $3.28 for the year, up from their prior forecast of $3.27. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $72.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s FY2018 earnings at $3.58 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $3.77 EPS.
MO has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.51 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on Altria Group from $77.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment 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. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.38.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at $65.65 on Monday. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $125,616.15, a P/E ratio of 20.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.77.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.03. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.43% and a net margin of 60.37%. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.22 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.82 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis.
Altria Group declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of Altria Group 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Altria Group by 133.3% during the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 65.7% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 557 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group purchased a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $109,000. Balentine LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NewSquare Capital LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 4,734.7% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 106,530 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.37% 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.
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