Press coverage about Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has been trending somewhat positive this week, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm scores the sentiment of media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Altria Group earned a news sentiment score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media headlines about the company an impact score of 46.4422024634207 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near future.
Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:
- Altria Group: Growth, Value, Income – Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO … – Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com)
- Top Gainers in the Consumer Sector: October 9–13, 2017 (marketrealist.com)
- Altria Group (MO) Quant Score Hampers Rating (investorplace.com)
- FY2017 EPS Estimates for Altria Group Increased by Jefferies Group (MO) (americanbankingnews.com)
- Altria Group (MO) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research (americanbankingnews.com)
Shares of Altria Group (MO) traded down 0.76% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.87. 7,507,908 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $63.30 and a 200 day moving average of $69.51. Altria Group has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79. The stock has a market cap of $125.07 billion, a PE ratio of 8.55 and a beta of 0.64.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $4.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 59.50% and a net margin of 56.98%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.07%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 34.83%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on MO. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.99.
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In other news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.
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