Altria (MO) Issues Earnings Results
Altria (NYSE:MO) released its earnings results on Thursday. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02, Bloomberg Earnings reports. Altria had a net margin of 41.85% and a return on equity of 49.92%. The company had revenue of $4.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.73 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Altria updated its FY18 guidance to $3.90-4.03 EPS.
Shares of MO stock traded up $1.36 on Friday, reaching $56.13. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,367,727 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,343,514. Altria has a 1 year low of $54.23 and a 1 year high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.65. The firm has a market cap of $104,087.59, a PE ratio of 16.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.62.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. This is a positive change from Altria’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.99%. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 82.84%.
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Altria from $70.00 to $65.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday. Piper Jaffray set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Altria and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 20th. Finally, Citigroup lowered shares of Altria from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $75.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, April 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.42.
In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MO. Payden & Rygel lifted its position in Altria by 4.1% in the second quarter. Payden & Rygel now owns 425,184 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,663,000 after buying an additional 16,700 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its position in Altria by 23.1% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,576,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,413,000 after buying an additional 296,153 shares during the last quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. lifted its position in Altria by 3.3% in the second quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 2,006,010 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,646,000 after buying an additional 63,217 shares during the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Altria by 3.0% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 25,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,885,000 after buying an additional 727 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Altria by 7.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,496,859,000 after buying an additional 8,969,677 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.53% of the company’s stock.
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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