Equities analysts expect Altria Group (NYSE:MO) to report sales of $5.22 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have made estimates for Altria Group’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $5.26 billion and the lowest is $5.19 billion. Altria Group posted sales of $5.19 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 0.6%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, October 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full-year sales of $5.22 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $19.64 billion to $19.79 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $20.08 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $19.89 billion to $20.34 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

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

A number of analysts have weighed in on MO shares. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Vetr lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.07.

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Shares of Altria Group (MO) opened at 62.39 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $64.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.24. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $120.29 billion, a PE ratio of 8.23 and a beta of 0.63.

Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.83%.

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. lifted its stake in Altria Group by 133.3% in the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 65.7% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 557 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group purchased a new position in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $109,000. Balentine LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Altria Group by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. 61.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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