Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Lifted to “Buy” at Citigroup

Citigroup upgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. Citigroup currently has $60.00 target price on the stock.

MO has been the topic of a number of other reports. TheStreet cut Altria Group from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, August 14th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $49.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, September 30th. Morgan Stanley set a $44.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 24th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th. Finally, Cowen restated a hold rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $54.43.

Shares of MO stock opened at $50.60 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.53, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.27. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $46.74 and its two-hundred day moving average is $46.99. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $39.30 and a 12 month high of $57.88. The company has a market capitalization of $92.85 billion, a PE ratio of 12.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.43.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.34 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 7.00% and a return on equity of 56.17%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.21 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Natixis grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 428.3% in the second quarter. Natixis now owns 1,846,808 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,447,000 after buying an additional 1,497,259 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 34.1% during the 3rd quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 26,240 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,073,000 after acquiring an additional 6,673 shares during the period. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC acquired a new position in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,502,000. OLD Republic International Corp grew its position in Altria Group by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. OLD Republic International Corp now owns 746,750 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,359,000 after acquiring an additional 100,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Banco Santander S.A. increased its stake in Altria Group by 3.0% during the second quarter. Banco Santander S.A. now owns 108,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,143,000 after purchasing an additional 3,163 shares during the period. 62.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Further Reading: S&P/TSX Index

Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Receive News & Ratings for Altria Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Altria Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.