Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOGet Rating) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 16,470,000 shares, an increase of 24.7% from the March 31st total of 13,210,000 shares. Currently, 0.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 9,030,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.8 days.

Several analysts recently commented on MO shares. Cowen increased their target price on shares of Altria Group from $51.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. The Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Altria Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $48.00 to $57.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 22nd. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Cowen upped their price target on shares of Altria Group from $51.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $56.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 5th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.86.

Shares of MO opened at $55.38 on Tuesday. The company’s fifty day moving average is $53.11 and its 200-day moving average is $49.44. Altria Group has a 12 month low of $42.53 and a 12 month high of $57.05. The firm has a market cap of $100.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.50.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.03. Altria Group had a net margin of 11.64% and a negative return on equity of 2,506.92%. The company had revenue of $4.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts anticipate that Altria Group will post 4.84 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 25th were paid a $0.90 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 24th. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.50%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is presently 219.51%.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. State Street Corp grew its stake in Altria Group by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 71,762,274 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,465,063,000 after buying an additional 2,371,300 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Altria Group by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 34,123,753 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,617,126,000 after buying an additional 1,103,432 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Altria Group by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 30,391,914 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,437,087,000 after buying an additional 644,221 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Altria Group by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,542,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $980,603,000 after buying an additional 346,246 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors grew its stake in Altria Group by 8.2% in the 4th quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 17,727,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $840,078,000 after buying an additional 1,348,687 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.05% of the company’s stock.

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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