Wells Fargo & Co Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Wells Fargo & Co restated their buy rating on shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) in a report released on Friday, TipRanks reports.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on MO. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Altria Group from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Altria Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $49.86 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on Altria Group and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $60.74.

Shares of MO traded down $0.21 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $45.95. The stock had a trading volume of 3,947,543 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,766,808. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.28. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $42.40 and a 12 month high of $66.04. The company has a market cap of $86.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.52, a PEG ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.38. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $48.67.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.53% and a net margin of 25.04%. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Country Trust Bank lifted its holdings in Altria Group by 86.9% during the first quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 239 shares during the period. HMS Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 2nd quarter valued at $41,000. James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter valued at $43,000. Titan Capital Management LLC CA purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 2nd quarter valued at $44,000. Finally, Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 113.4% during the 1st quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 783 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,000 after purchasing an additional 416 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.23% of the company’s stock.

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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