$1.14 Earnings Per Share Expected for Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) This Quarter

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Wall Street brokerages predict that Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) will post earnings per share (EPS) of $1.14 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have provided estimates for Altria Group’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.11 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.17. Altria Group reported earnings per share of $1.08 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 5.6%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th.

On average, analysts expect that Altria Group will report full year earnings of $4.18 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.12 to $4.22. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $4.48 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.27 to $4.57. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Altria Group.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10. The business had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.53%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, August 26th. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, July 12th. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $64.00 to $49.00 in a report on Monday, September 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.57.

Altria Group stock traded down $0.53 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $41.48. 5,620,468 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 12,412,233. 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 firm’s 50 day moving average price is $46.13 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $83.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.39, a P/E/G ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.38. Altria Group has a 52-week low of $41.97 and a 52-week high of $66.04.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 80.20%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $43,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its holdings in Altria Group by 113.4% in the 1st quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 783 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,000 after acquiring an additional 416 shares in the last quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors increased its holdings in Altria Group by 166.7% in the 1st quarter. Interactive Financial Advisors now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. HMS Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $41,000. Finally, Salomon & Ludwin LLC increased its holdings in Altria Group by 189.0% in the 2nd quarter. Salomon & Ludwin LLC now owns 867 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after acquiring an additional 567 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.25% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Company Profile

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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