Altria Group (NYSE:MO)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by analysts at Berenberg Bank in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

Several other brokerages have also commented on MO. BidaskClub upgraded Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $76.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $72.06.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) traded up 0.27% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $64.22. 7,025,355 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $60.01 and a 52-week high of $77.79. The company has a 50-day moving average of $63.77 and a 200-day moving average of $68.91. The stock has a market cap of $123.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.47 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.43% and a net margin of 60.37%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

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

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In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was 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 $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 133.3% during the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 65.7% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after purchasing an additional 557 shares during the period. CKW Financial Group acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter worth about $109,000. Balentine LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares during the period. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 4.7% during the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the period. 61.92% of the stock is 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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