Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total value of $410,345.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

Altria Group Inc (NYSE MO) opened at $65.18 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $125,253.59, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.36, a PEG ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.53. Altria Group Inc has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. research analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several analysts have commented on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Citigroup cut their target price on Altria Group from $80.00 to $75.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Vetr downgraded Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.89 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Edward Jones upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.66.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Biltmore Family Office LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $3,870,000. LPL Financial LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 37.1% during the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 943,141 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,350,000 after purchasing an additional 254,969 shares in the last quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $1,250,000. Covington Capital Management lifted its position in Altria Group by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 60,403 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,313,000 after purchasing an additional 803 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rodgers Brothers Inc. purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $206,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.61% of the company’s stock.

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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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