Equities research analysts predict that Altria Group (NYSE:MO) will report sales of $5.21 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have provided estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $5.26 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $5.17 billion. Altria Group reported sales of $5.19 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 0.4%. The firm is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, October 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year sales of $5.21 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $19.64 billion to $19.79 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report sales of $20.08 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $19.89 billion to $20.34 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that follow Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MO. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $76.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.47.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 63.93 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $68.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $72.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $123.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.43 and a beta of 0.61. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.13%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 32.19%.

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.

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. HM Capital Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock valued at $245,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Baystate Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $270,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Bellwether Investment Group LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 4,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $331,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. Finally, Strategic Financial Group LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 0.4% in the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the period. 61.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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

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