Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Downgraded by StockNews.com

StockNews.com lowered shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MOFree Report) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on MO. Argus raised shares of Altria Group to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, May 31st. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, March 25th. Finally, UBS Group increased their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $36.10 to $36.50 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Altria Group has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.90.

Get Our Latest Report on MO

Altria Group Stock Performance

Shares of MO stock opened at $45.74 on Thursday. Altria Group has a one year low of $39.06 and a one year high of $47.19. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $44.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $42.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $78.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.57, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.15. Altria Group had a net margin of 34.81% and a negative return on equity of 222.80%. The firm had revenue of $4.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.18 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a $0.98 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 14th. This represents a $3.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.57%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.01%.

Insider Activity

In other news, VP Charles N. Whitaker sold 22,487 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.95, for a total value of $988,303.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 173,485 shares in the company, valued at $7,624,665.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FSC Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 21.3% in the 4th quarter. FSC Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,719 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 477 shares during the period. Bruce G. Allen Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter valued at about $39,000. KPP Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $3,128,000. Axxcess Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 293.6% in the 3rd quarter. Axxcess Wealth Management LLC now owns 55,546 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,336,000 after buying an additional 41,432 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in Altria Group by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,011,345 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,727,000 after purchasing an additional 4,789 shares during the period. 57.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Altria Group

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Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; large cigars and pipe tobacco under the Black & Mild brand; moist smokeless tobacco and snus products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands; oral nicotine pouches under the on! brand; and e-vapor products under the NJOY ACE brand.

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Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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