Traders Purchase High Volume of Altria Group Put Options (MO)
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 4,112 put options on the stock, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. This represents an increase of approximately 121% compared to the average daily volume of 1,858 put options.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday. They now have a $44.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Altria Group from $40.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Monday, June 2nd. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of Altria Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 19th. They now have a $41.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $43.00. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.63.
Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.57% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $42.59. The stock had a trading volume of 12,141,208 shares. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $33.12 and a 52 week high of $42.39. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $40.38 and its 200-day moving average is $37.78. The company has a market cap of $84.584 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.61.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings data on Thursday, April 24th. The company reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.57. The company had revenue of $5.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.03 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.54 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post $2.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 16th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.51%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 12th.
Altria Group, Inc, is a holding company. At December 31, 2012, Altria Group, Inc’s direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries included Philip Morris USA Inc (NYSE:MO), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and certain smokeless products in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of PM USA; and UST LLC (UST), which through its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries, including U.
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