Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) have received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fourteen research firms that are presently covering the firm. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $69.45.

A number of analysts have weighed in on MO shares. Credit Agricole SA reduced their target price on Altria Group from $69.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Vetr lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.77 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Argus set a $73.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Altria Group in a research note on Monday, September 12th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price target on the stock.

In related news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total transaction of $600,120.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. First PREMIER Bank purchased a new stake in Altria Group during the second quarter worth approximately $103,000. First Personal Financial Services increased its stake in Altria Group by 66.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,603 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 639 shares during the period. Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 26.6% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 1,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 348 shares during the period. CapWealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,073 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 123 shares during the period. Finally, Zions Bancorporation increased its stake in Altria Group by 48.4% in the second quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 643 shares during the period. 61.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 0.472% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $62.673. 1,648,956 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $65.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $64.93. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $53.68 and a 12-month high of $70.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $122.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.761 and a beta of 0.48.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 198.82% and a net margin of 22.05%. The business had revenue of $6.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.01 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 84.72%.

Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. 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 large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MO

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