Wall Street brokerages expect Altria Group (NYSE:MO) to report earnings of $0.87 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.89 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.85. Altria Group reported earnings of $0.82 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 6.1%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, October 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year earnings of $3.27 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.26 to $3.30. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $3.57 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.50 to $3.63. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Several research firms have weighed in on MO. Vetr cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $80.38 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, July 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.57.

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In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MO. Baxter Bros Inc. lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 12.5% during the 1st quarter. Baxter Bros Inc. now owns 8,991 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,015,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Pinnacle Advisory Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 73.1% in the 1st quarter. Pinnacle Advisory Group Inc. now owns 46,234 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,302,000 after buying an additional 19,525 shares during the last quarter. Waldron LP grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 17.1% in the 1st quarter. Waldron LP now owns 26,627 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,901,000 after buying an additional 3,896 shares during the last quarter. Crestwood Advisors Group LLC grew its position in shares of Altria Group by 10.9% in the 1st quarter. Crestwood Advisors Group LLC now owns 7,661 shares of the company’s stock valued at $547,000 after buying an additional 751 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UMB Bank N A MO increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 9.1% in the first quarter. UMB Bank N A MO now owns 30,889 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,206,000 after buying an additional 2,580 shares during the period. 61.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 63.37 on Wednesday. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $63.35 and a 200-day moving average price of $70.08. The company has a market capitalization of $122.18 billion, a PE ratio of 8.36 and a beta of 0.64.

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

The company also recently declared 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 represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.17%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.83%.

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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