Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a research report report published on Tuesday morning. Royal Bank Of Canada currently has a $62.00 price target on the stock.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $80.18 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, June 5th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Altria Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reissued a hold rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $70.00 price objective (down previously from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $71.57.

Altria Group (NYSE MO) traded up 0.05% on Tuesday, hitting $63.40. 1,256,778 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $63.35 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.08. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $60.01 and a 12-month high of $77.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $122.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.36 and a beta of 0.64.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

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Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Altria Group by 2.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,129,659,000 after purchasing an additional 2,690,270 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Altria Group by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,496,859,000 after buying an additional 8,969,677 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Altria Group by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 74,624,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,329,771,000 after buying an additional 687,246 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its stake in Altria Group by 27.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,065,018,000 after buying an additional 8,914,575 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Altria Group by 5.3% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,802,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,550,057,000 after buying an additional 1,040,839 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.85% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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