Altria Group (NYSE:MO) CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Altria Group (MO) traded up 0.82% on Monday, reaching $64.84. The company had a trading volume of 6,373,247 shares. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $60.01 and a 52-week high of $77.79. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $71.34 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $125.01 billion, a PE ratio of 8.55 and a beta of 0.61.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Auxier Asset Management increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Auxier Asset Management now owns 146,504 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,907,000 after buying an additional 954 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 2,632,751 shares of the company’s stock worth $178,027,000 after buying an additional 118,218 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $9,570,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $4,270,000. Finally, Searle & CO. acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $2,214,000. 62.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

MO has been the subject of several research reports. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.89 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, April 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.66.

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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