Altria Group (MO) – Investment Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Updates

Several analysts have recently updated their ratings and price targets for Altria Group (NYSE: MO):

  • 2/12/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating. They now have a $76.87 price target on the stock.
  • 2/6/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $78.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Altria has been progressing well with expansion in the smokeless products category, which has helped it surpass the industry in the past six months. Notably, the company’s flagship MarkTen brand is now a leading U.S. e-vapor brand, with a substantial retail market share. These factors fueled Altria’s smokeless product revenue in fourth-quarter 2017, wherein earnings kept its stellar year-over-year growth trend intact. Results were backed by solid pricing, higher OCI and lower tax rates, stemming from recent tax reforms. However, rising health consciousness and stern government regulations to curb tobacco consumption has been hurting cigarette volumes and denting Altria’s top line for quite some time. Moreover, the Wine category remains sluggish due to stiff competition. Nonetheless, investments in key growth areas, efforts to lift Marlboro’s share and expected gains from tax reforms led to a robust earnings view.”
  • 2/5/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $71.45 price target on the stock.
  • 2/5/2018 – Altria Group had its “sector perform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada. They now have a $62.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $65.00.
  • 2/2/2018 – Altria Group had its price target raised by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies from $76.00 to $81.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 1/26/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. They now have a $71.45 price target on the stock.
  • 1/22/2018 – Altria Group was downgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. They now have a $68.17 price target on the stock.
  • 1/19/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $70.04.
  • 1/8/2018 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Altria has surpassed the industry in the past three months, thanks to its progress in the smokeless products category. Growth in market share for smokeless products also benefited the company’s third-quarter 2017 earnings, which rose year over year and topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Further, the company expects the smokeless product category, including e-vapor products to continue performing well. Moreover, Altria remains on track with its cost-reduction initiatives and consolidation of its manufacturing facilities to streamline operations.  However, declining demand of tobacco products and stringent government regulations to curb tobacco consumption has been hurting Altria’s top line. Evidently, sales have lagged the consensus mark in seven out of the last nine quarters. Altria’s Wine category has also remained dismal for sometime now, owing to heightened competition.”
  • 1/4/2018 – Altria Group had its price target raised by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from $80.00 to $85.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/2/2018 – Altria Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Declining demand of tobacco products and stringent government regulations to curb tobacco consumption has been hurting Altria’s top line for a while now. As per the recent court orders, Altria and other cigarette manufacturers have been directed to put up self-critical advertisements on television and newspapers. In the past too the FDA has proposed several regulations to curb tobacco consumption, such as lowering nicotine content in cigarettes and seeking marketing authorization for any tobacco products before they are launched. Altria’s Wine category has also remained dismal for sometime now, owing to heightened competition. However Altria’s progress in the smokeless tobacco products category is quite noteworthy and has helped its shares to surpass the industry in the past three months. Further Altria’s marketing and technology agreement with Philip Morris is also expected to boost the company’s business.”
  • 12/28/2017 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. They now have a $69.29 price target on the stock.
  • 12/19/2017 – Altria Group was upgraded by analysts at Berenberg Bank from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $71.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $60.01.

Altria Group Inc (MO) traded up $1.31 on Monday, reaching $65.34. 2,838,105 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,199,107. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The stock has a market cap of $123,900.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.31, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.53.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

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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