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 research note released on Friday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage currently has $49.86 price target on the stock.

Several other research firms have also commented on MO. Bank of America upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $56.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. TheStreet lowered shares of 22nd Century Group from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Citigroup set a $221.00 price target on shares of 3M and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wix.Com from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Altria Group presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $60.91.

NYSE:MO opened at $49.54 on Friday. Altria Group has a one year low of $42.40 and a one year high of $66.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 0.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $92.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.39. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $49.58.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.02). Altria Group had a net margin of 24.87% and a return on equity of 49.42%. The business had revenue of $4.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th were paid a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 80.20%.

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

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 2.1% during the 4th quarter. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI now owns 38,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,892,000 after acquiring an additional 770 shares during the period. Ffcm LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 220,844 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,907,000 after purchasing an additional 3,438 shares during the last quarter. Strategic Investment Advisors MI bought a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $367,000. Linscomb & Williams Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 10.9% during the 4th quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 17,883 shares of the company’s stock valued at $883,000 after purchasing an additional 1,755 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FLC Capital Advisors bought a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $743,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.47% of the company’s stock.

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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