Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Rating Lowered to Neutral at Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Friday, Benzinga reports. Goldman Sachs Group currently has $49.86 price target on the stock.

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Wix.Com from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Bank of America lifted their price target on Altria Group from $56.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. ValuEngine upgraded USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Wells Fargo & Co from $55.00 to $51.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research report on Monday, April 15th. Finally, Citigroup set a $221.00 price target on 3M and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Three equities research 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’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $60.91.

MO opened at $49.54 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $92.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.39. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $42.40 and a 12 month high of $66.04. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $49.58.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $4.39 billion during 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 company’s revenue was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.95 EPS. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Shareholders 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 dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.20%.

In related news, SVP Jody L. Begley sold 3,250 shares of the business’s 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were 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. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Country Trust Bank raised its stake in Altria Group by 86.9% in the first quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 239 shares in the last quarter. HMS Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Altria Group in the second quarter worth approximately $41,000. James Investment Research Inc. bought a new position in Altria Group in the first quarter worth approximately $43,000. Clarfeld Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in Altria Group in the fourth quarter worth approximately $44,000. Finally, Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV raised its stake in Altria Group by 113.4% in the first quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 783 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,000 after buying an additional 416 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.47% 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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