Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)‘s stock had its “sell” rating reiterated by stock analysts at Royal Bank of Canada in a note issued to investors on Friday. They presently have a $62.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada’s price objective points to a potential downside of 16.68% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on MO. Berenberg Bank lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $76.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Argus raised their target price on shares of Altria Group from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC set a $71.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 17th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $74.25 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, March 27th. Finally, Barclays PLC reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.35.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.36% during trading on Friday, hitting $74.41. 5,680,989 shares of the stock traded hands. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $60.82 and a 12 month high of $76.55. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $71.52 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.14. The stock has a market cap of $144.28 billion, a PE ratio of 10.07 and a beta of 0.61. Altria Group also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders purchased 692 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 150% compared to the typical volume of 277 call options.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 109.95% and a net margin of 55.31%. Altria Group’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.72 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.28 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.28%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 33.47%.

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In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.72, for a total transaction of $303,035.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 112,457 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,952,959.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. GAM Holding AG increased its stake in Altria Group by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 235,022 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,681,000 after buying an additional 4,944 shares in the last quarter. Carlson Capital Management increased its stake in Altria Group by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Carlson Capital Management now owns 7,255 shares of the company’s stock valued at $422,000 after buying an additional 489 shares in the last quarter. Soros Fund Management LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $352,000. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 3,023,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,782,000 after buying an additional 14,904 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in Altria Group by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 1,069,603 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,085,000 after buying an additional 38,005 shares in the last quarter. 60.77% 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.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:MO

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