Jefferies Group reiterated their buy rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $84.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s FY2018 earnings at $4.02 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $4.37 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.84 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $5.24 EPS.
MO has been the topic of several other reports. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr downgraded shares of Altria Group from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $71.65 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, December 4th. Wells Fargo upped their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $75.14.
Altria Group (MO) opened at $63.19 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.64. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $120,089.37, a P/E ratio of 18.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.43%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 52.63%.
In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $199,488.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 over the last three months. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Balentine LLC raised 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 acquiring an additional 357 shares during the period. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Oak Point Wealth Management acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new position in Altria Group during the third quarter worth $114,000. Finally, Northwest Investment Counselors LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,543 shares during the period. 62.77% 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.
Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.