Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) Will Announce Earnings of $1.14 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages expect that Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) will announce earnings of $1.14 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have issued estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.17 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.11. Altria Group reported earnings per share of $1.08 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 5.6%. The company is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, October 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full-year earnings of $4.17 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.12 to $4.22. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $4.48 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.29 to $4.57. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 51.12% and a net margin of 25.04%. The company’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. ValuEngine cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Goldman Sachs Group cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, July 12th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Altria Group from $49.00 to $48.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Three research 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. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.07.

In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total transaction of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Grimes & Company Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 9.3% in the first quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $481,000 after purchasing an additional 717 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 68.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its position in Altria Group by 78.2% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 347,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,929,000 after purchasing an additional 152,302 shares during the period. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in Altria Group by 15.4% in the first quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 54,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,156,000 after purchasing an additional 7,339 shares during the period. Finally, 6 Meridian raised its position in Altria Group by 29.1% in the first quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 464,466 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,674,000 after purchasing an additional 104,611 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.24% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MO traded up $0.38 on Friday, reaching $48.26. The stock had a trading volume of 119,008 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,867,016. The stock has a market cap of $90.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.10, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.39. 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 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 business 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 6.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.20%.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 30th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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