Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at ValuEngine

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) was downgraded by research analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, ValuEngine reports.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 14th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, August 26th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.57.

MO stock traded down $0.47 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $44.25. The company had a trading volume of 5,423,923 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,030,533. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.56. The company has a market capitalization of $82.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.38. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $46.28 and a 200 day simple moving average of $50.96. Altria Group has a fifty-two week low of $42.40 and a fifty-two week high of $66.04.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The firm had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.01 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Waters Parkerson & CO. LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. Waters Parkerson & CO. LLC now owns 73,348 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,473,000 after buying an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 9,006 shares of the company’s stock valued at $426,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Busey Wealth Management lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Busey Wealth Management now owns 15,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $732,000 after acquiring an additional 234 shares in the last quarter. Brand Asset Management Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 24.8% during the 1st quarter. Brand Asset Management Group Inc. now owns 1,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,000 after acquiring an additional 236 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV now owns 37,591 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,780,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. 63.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Altria Group Company Profile

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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