Wall Street analysts expect Altria Group (NYSE:MO) to post $5.22 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $5.19 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $5.26 billion. Altria Group reported sales of $5.19 billion in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 0.6%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Thursday, October 26th.

According to Zacks, 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 $20.13 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $19.89 billion to $20.34 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). The company 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 business’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.81 earnings per share.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a report on Tuesday. Berenberg Bank set a $72.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, August 6th. Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, UBS AG reduced their target price on shares of Altria Group from $78.00 to $72.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, July 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.57.

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded down 1.685% during trading on Friday, reaching $62.735. 2,527,958 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $120.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.273 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $69.99.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.14%. This is an increase 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 34.83%.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the 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 completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. HM Capital Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock worth $270,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 4,451 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 3,293 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lafayette Investments Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Lafayette Investments Inc. now owns 3,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. 61.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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