Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 22,110,080 shares, a growth of 11.7% from the March 29th total of 19,793,292 shares. Approximately 1.2% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 7,482,320 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.0 days.
MO stock traded up $0.32 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $52.35. 5,949,301 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,945,807. The company has a market capitalization of $97.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 0.62. Altria Group has a fifty-two week low of $42.40 and a fifty-two week high of $66.04.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by ($0.02). Altria Group had a net margin of 24.87% and a return on equity of 49.42%. The company had revenue of $4.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.95 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Several brokerages recently issued reports on MO. TheStreet raised Altria Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 21st. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Altria Group from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. Citigroup set a $52.00 price target on Altria Group and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.53.
In other Altria Group news, SVP Jody L. Begley sold 3,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.38, for a total value of $173,485.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Ivan S. Feldman sold 6,802 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.18, for a total value of $348,126.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MO. Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at $30,000. Country Trust Bank raised its holdings in Altria Group by 86.9% during the 1st quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 239 shares during the period. Clean Yield Group bought a new stake in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at $32,000. Premia Global Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Altria Group during the 1st quarter valued at $34,000. Finally, Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Altria Group by 627.6% during the 4th quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 615 shares during the period. 64.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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