Altria Group (NYSE:MO) updated its FY 2019 earnings guidance on Tuesday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $4.15-4.27 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $4.19. Altria Group also updated its FY19 guidance to $4.15-4.27 EPS.
MO has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Citigroup set a $45.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Goldman Sachs Group cut Altria Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $49.86 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, July 12th. ValuEngine lowered Altria Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Altria Group from $49.00 to $48.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $61.07.
NYSE:MO traded up $0.10 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $47.99. 3,866,183 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,867,016. The company’s 50 day moving average is $49.26. Altria Group has a twelve month low of $42.40 and a twelve month high of $66.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $90.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.03, a P/E/G ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.39.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th were issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.20%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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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