Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) – Equities researchers at Jefferies Financial Group reduced their FY2018 earnings estimates for shares of Altria Group in a research report issued on Wednesday, October 17th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst O. Bennett now forecasts that the company will earn $4.00 per share for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.02. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $61.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.99 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.60 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.98 EPS.
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on MO. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Altria Group from $65.00 to $63.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $59.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $70.28.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 42.00% and a return on equity of 48.88%. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th were paid a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.25%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 94.67%.
In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MO. Legacy Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 233.4% during the 3rd quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC now owns 22,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,377,000 after acquiring an additional 15,773 shares during the period. Empirical Finance LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $224,000. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 7.1% during the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 1,146,689 shares of the company’s stock worth $69,157,000 after acquiring an additional 76,229 shares during the period. Davis R M Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 19.1% during the 3rd quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 13,246 shares of the company’s stock worth $799,000 after acquiring an additional 2,126 shares during the period. Finally, Osborn Williams & Donohoe LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter. Osborn Williams & Donohoe LLC now owns 16,160 shares of the company’s stock worth $975,000 after acquiring an additional 903 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.12% of the company’s stock.
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.
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