Altria Group Inc Announces Quarterly Dividend of $0.80 (MO)

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, May 17th, Wall Street Journal reports. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a dividend of 0.80 per share on Wednesday, July 10th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.11%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th.

Altria Group has raised its dividend by an average of 10.4% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 10 years. Altria Group has a payout ratio of 80.0% indicating that its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings tumble. Research analysts expect Altria Group to earn $4.46 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.20 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 71.7%.

NYSE:MO traded up $0.32 on Friday, reaching $52.35. 5,949,301 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,944,981. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a current ratio of 0.62 and a quick ratio of 0.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $97.38 billion, a PE ratio of 13.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.35. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $42.40 and a 52-week high of $66.04.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $4.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.60 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.42% and a net margin of 24.87%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.95 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Altria Group will post 4.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Altria Group news, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab purchased 1,352 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $52.11 per share, with a total value of $70,452.72. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 39,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,066,682.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Jody L. Begley sold 3,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.38, for a total value of $173,485.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Altria Group stock. Comerica Securities Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 16.0% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 31,842 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,381 shares during the quarter. Comerica Securities Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,598,000 as of its most recent SEC filing. 64.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Altria Group from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 22nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Bank of America boosted their price target on shares of Altria Group from $56.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. Finally, Citigroup set a $52.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 28th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.53.

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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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Dividend History for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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