Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Upgraded to Buy at Goldman Sachs Group

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, The Fly reports.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Citigroup set a $221.00 price objective on shares of 3M and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. TheStreet lowered shares of 22nd Century Group from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wix.Com from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co from $55.00 to $51.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.91.

NYSE MO traded up $0.26 on Thursday, reaching $49.26. 5,782,426 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,059,484. Altria Group has a one year low of $42.40 and a one year high of $66.04. The firm has a market cap of $92.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.35, a PEG ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 0.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $49.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a current ratio of 0.62 and a quick ratio of 0.39.

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

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

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after buying an additional 31,883,878 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 24,928,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,229,235,000 after buying an additional 1,908,626 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its stake in Altria Group by 323.6% in the 4th quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 1,825,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,171,000 after buying an additional 1,394,730 shares during the last quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $61,553,000. Finally, Avalon Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $52,121,000. 64.48% of the stock is owned by 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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