Traders Buy Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $110.38 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $84.60 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $25.78 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria Group had the 12th highest net in-flow for the day. Altria Group traded down ($0.46) for the day and closed at $64.31

Several research firms have commented on MO. Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $80.38 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Cowen and Company set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.66.

The stock has a market cap of $123.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.48 and a beta of 0.61. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $71.34 and its 200 day moving average is $72.73.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 56.98% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director George Munoz sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total transaction of $361,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. boosted its position in Altria Group by 133.3% in the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 65.7% in the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 557 shares during the last quarter. CKW Financial Group bought a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter worth approximately $109,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in Altria Group by 97.4% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,664 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 821 shares during the last quarter. 62.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Altria Group Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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