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%.

Altria declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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.

About Altria

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.

Earnings History for Altria (NYSE:MO)

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