Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen analysts that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seven have issued a hold recommendation and six have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $56.79.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on MO. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, August 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, August 26th. Cowen reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st.
Shares of NYSE MO traded down $0.33 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.40. The company had a trading volume of 19,425,655 shares, compared to its average volume of 16,179,571. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $39.30 and a 52 week high of $66.04. The stock has a market cap of $76.24 billion, a PE ratio of 10.13, a PEG ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $44.42 and its 200-day moving average price is $50.29.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.32%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 84.21%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. HMS Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter worth $41,000. Salomon & Ludwin LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 189.0% in the second quarter. Salomon & Ludwin LLC now owns 867 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 567 shares in the last quarter. Titan Capital Management LLC CA bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the second quarter worth $44,000. Interactive Financial Advisors lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 166.7% in the first quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Perkins Coie Trust Co lifted its position in shares of Altria Group by 214.0% in the second quarter. Perkins Coie Trust Co now owns 967 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,000 after purchasing an additional 659 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.25% of the company’s stock.
About Altria Group
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.
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