Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Stock Rating Upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group

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Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. Goldman Sachs Group currently has $59.00 price target on the stock.

MO has been the topic of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Wells Fargo & Co from $55.00 to $51.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 15th. TheStreet cut shares of 22nd Century Group from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Bank of America increased their price target on shares of Altria Group from $56.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Wix.Com from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Citigroup set a $221.00 price target on shares of 3M and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. Altria Group has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $60.91.

Shares of Altria Group stock opened at $49.50 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $49.76. The company has a quick ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $92.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.41, a PEG ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.39. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $42.40 and a 1-year high of $66.04.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $4.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 24.87% and a return on equity of 49.42%. The firm’s revenue was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.95 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th were given a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.46%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 80.20%.

In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Jody L. Begley sold 3,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.38, for a total transaction of $173,485.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. West Oak Capital LLC lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 13.9% in the second quarter. West Oak Capital LLC now owns 4,910 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,000 after acquiring an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Smith Salley & Associates lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 5.9% in the second quarter. Smith Salley & Associates now owns 18,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $884,000 after acquiring an additional 1,037 shares during the last quarter. HMS Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Altria Group in the second quarter worth about $41,000. Butensky & Cohen Financial Security Inc. lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 59.5% in the second quarter. Butensky & Cohen Financial Security Inc. now owns 36,269 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,717,000 after acquiring an additional 13,526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Diversified Trust Co lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 7.2% in the second quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 5,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $267,000 after acquiring an additional 381 shares during the last quarter. 64.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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