Somewhat Positive Press Coverage Somewhat Unlikely to Affect Altria Group (MO) Stock Price

News articles about Altria Group (NYSE:MO) have trended somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive media coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Altria Group earned a news impact score of 0.15 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media stories about the company an impact score of 46.5302118268767 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

These are some of the media stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

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Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.29 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, December 28th. Wells Fargo raised their target price on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Piper Jaffray raised their target price on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $74.53.

MO traded down $0.44 on Thursday, hitting $63.40. 2,273,132 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,035,704. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. Altria Group has a one year low of $59.07 and a one year high of $77.79. The company has a market capitalization of $122,046.84, a PE ratio of 18.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data 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. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. The company’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Altria Group will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group announced 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 buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were paid a $0.70 dividend. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.42%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 82.84%.

In other news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was 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 owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

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Altria Group Company Profile

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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