Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Shares Up 0.3%

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Shares Up 0.3%

Shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO – Get Free Report) rose 0.3% on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $46.22 and last traded at $46.00. Approximately 2,076,385 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 82% from the average daily volume of 11,597,754 shares. The stock had previously closed at $45.85.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

MO has been the subject of several recent research reports. downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, April 14th. UBS Group upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $36.10 to $36.50 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, March 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.90.

Altria Group Stock Up 0.2 %

The firm has a market cap of $78.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.62, a PEG ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.66. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $43.15 and its two-hundred day moving average is $41.66.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO – Get Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.15. Altria Group had a net margin of 34.81% and a negative return on equity of 222.80%. The company had revenue of $4.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.18 earnings per share. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Altria Group, Inc. will post 5.11 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 25th were paid a $0.98 dividend. This represents a $3.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 22nd. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 82.01%.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, VP Charles N. Whitaker sold 22,487 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.95, for a total transaction of $988,303.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 173,485 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,624,665.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.09% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Maryland Capital Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 154.4% during the 1st quarter. Maryland Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 575 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 349 shares during the last quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter worth $26,000. Accordant Advisory Group Inc bought a new stake in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at about $26,000. Nemes Rush Group LLC grew its holdings in Altria Group by 103.2% during the third quarter. Nemes Rush Group LLC now owns 636 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 323 shares during the period. Finally, Criterion Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. Institutional investors own 57.41% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

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.

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