Traders Sell Altria (MO) on Strength (MO)

Traders sold shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) on strength during trading on Friday. $81.27 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $112.13 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $30.86 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Altria traded up $0.25 for the day and closed at $55.54

Several research firms recently weighed in on MO. Vetr downgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $68.17 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Piper Jaffray lifted their target price on Altria from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.42.

The stock has a market cap of $105.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.43, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.02. Altria had a return on equity of 49.92% and a net margin of 41.85%. The business had revenue of $4.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Altria will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.04%. Altria’s payout ratio is 82.84%.

Altria declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Altria in the fourth quarter worth about $120,000. Oak Point Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Altria in the fourth quarter worth about $120,000. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new stake in shares of Altria in the third quarter worth about $114,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria in the fourth quarter worth about $134,000. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Altria by 1,202.0% in the fourth quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 1,953 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 1,803 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.05% of the company’s stock.

Altria 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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