Jefferies Financial Group Comments on Altria Group Inc’s FY2018 Earnings (MO)

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Financial Group reduced their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Altria Group in a report issued on Wednesday, October 17th, Zacks Investment Research reports. Jefferies Financial Group analyst O. Bennett now forecasts that the company will post earnings of $4.00 per share for the year, down from their previous estimate of $4.02. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $61.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Altria Group’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.99 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.60 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.98 EPS.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Altria Group had a return on equity of 48.31% and a net margin of 42.13%. The firm had revenue of $5.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.22 billion.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on MO. Argus increased their target price on Altria Group from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Citigroup increased their target price on Altria Group from $59.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. ValuEngine upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Altria Group in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.87.

Shares of MO traded down $1.95 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $63.42. The stock had a trading volume of 14,984,899 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,781,950. The stock has a market capitalization of $122.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.40. Altria Group has a 12-month low of $53.91 and a 12-month high of $74.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.60, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

In other Altria Group news, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 3,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.44, for a total transaction of $184,962.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $2,579,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 87.4% in the 3rd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 794,753 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,080,000 after acquiring an additional 370,674 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 490,542 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,585,000 after acquiring an additional 6,244 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Hawaii raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 92,956 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,606,000 after acquiring an additional 1,178 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,106,747 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,479,149,000 after acquiring an additional 3,842,889 shares in the last quarter. 63.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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