Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) Short Interest Update

Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOGet Rating) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,210,000 shares, a decline of 29.7% from the March 15th total of 18,790,000 shares. Approximately 0.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 9,370,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.4 days.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. The Goldman Sachs Group raised Altria Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $48.00 to $57.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 22nd. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Altria Group in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Cowen boosted their price target on Altria Group from $51.00 to $53.00 in a report on Thursday, April 7th. Bank of America downgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $56.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 5th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada downgraded Altria Group from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, March 28th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.00.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd grew its position in Altria Group by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company Ltd now owns 135,577 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,084,000 after acquiring an additional 478 shares during the last quarter. PFG Advisors lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 12.8% in the 1st quarter. PFG Advisors now owns 33,274 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,739,000 after buying an additional 3,781 shares during the period. Wealth Alliance Advisory Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Wealth Alliance Advisory Group LLC now owns 13,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $723,000 after buying an additional 295 shares during the period. Key Client Fiduciary Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 9.8% in the 1st quarter. Key Client Fiduciary Advisors LLC now owns 11,038 shares of the company’s stock worth $577,000 after buying an additional 986 shares during the period. Finally, First Citizens Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 8.5% in the 1st quarter. First Citizens Financial Corp now owns 6,412 shares of the company’s stock worth $335,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. 59.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE MO traded up $0.46 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $55.06. 130,001 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,363,076. The stock has a market capitalization of $99.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.59. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $52.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $48.86. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $42.53 and a 12 month high of $55.33.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 27th. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09. The firm had revenue of $6.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 1,009.13% and a net margin of 9.51%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.99 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Altria Group will post 4.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 25th will be given a $0.90 dividend. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.54%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 24th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 270.68%.

Altria Group Company Profile (Get Rating)

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells smokeable and oral tobacco products in the United States. The company provides cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars and pipe tobacco principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands, as well as provides on! oral nicotine pouches.

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