Equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group (NYSE:MO) will report $0.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.84 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.87. Altria Group reported earnings per share of $0.81 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 6.2%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings report before the market opens on Thursday, July 27th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year earnings of $3.28 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.26 to $3.30. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $3.56 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.53 to $3.59. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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 company had revenue of $4.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 76.43% and a net margin of 55.99%. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.72 EPS.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.34.

In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 4,285 shares of the business’s 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 transaction, the director now owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,952,959.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $361,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Janus Capital Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 18.5% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 23,722,282 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,604,101,000 after buying an additional 3,700,520 shares during the period. Putnam Investments LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 186.6% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 3,473,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $234,886,000 after buying an additional 2,261,462 shares during the period. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main bought a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $151,559,000. Swiss National Bank raised its position in Altria Group by 25.1% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 7,486,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $534,678,000 after buying an additional 1,501,400 shares during the period. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in Altria Group during the first quarter valued at $104,292,000. 62.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 73.55 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $142.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.95 and a beta of 0.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $75.15 and its 200 day moving average price is $72.86. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.82 and a 12-month high of $77.79.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.02%.

About Altria Group

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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