Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, August 22nd, Zacks reports. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of 0.84 per share on Thursday, October 10th. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80.
Altria Group has increased its dividend payment by an average of 10.4% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 10 years. Altria Group has a payout ratio of 84.0% indicating that its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings decline. Research analysts expect Altria Group to earn $4.47 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.36 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 75.2%.
Shares of MO traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $44.35. 501,145 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,609,659. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $46.40 and a 200 day simple moving average of $51.00. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $42.40 and a 12-month high of $66.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87. The firm has a market cap of $82.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.38.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, July 12th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies lowered shares of Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research note on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.57.
Altria Group Company Profile
Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.
Featured Story: How Investors Use a Balance Sheet
Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.