Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) shares hit a new 52-week low during trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $42.11 and last traded at $42.22, with a volume of 306311 shares. The stock had previously closed at $44.46.
Several analysts have commented on MO shares. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, August 26th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies downgraded shares of Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research note on Monday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.57.
The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $46.13 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $50.92. The firm has a market cap of $83.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.53, a P/E/G ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.28.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.00%. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 80.20%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MO. HMS Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Salomon & Ludwin LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 189.0% during the second quarter. Salomon & Ludwin LLC now owns 867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 567 shares in the last quarter. James Investment Research Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $43,000. Titan Capital Management LLC CA bought a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $44,000. Finally, Interactive Financial Advisors increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 166.7% during the first quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 63.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Altria Group (NYSE:MO)
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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