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Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has been given an average recommendation of “Buy” by the nine ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, StockRatingsNetwork reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $48.88.

MO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday. They now have a $45.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Cowen and Company initiated coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, July 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $91.00 price target on the stock. Finally, 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.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.20% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $42.995. The stock had a trading volume of 871,203 shares. Altria Group has a one year low of $33.54 and a one year high of $43.70. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $42.02 and a 200-day moving average of $39.76. The company has a market cap of $85.130 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.83.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings data on Tuesday, July 22nd. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $6.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. 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 Friday, October 10th. Investors of record on Monday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.52 per share. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 11th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48.

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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