Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOGet Rating) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Traders acquired 87,103 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 181% compared to the average volume of 30,984 call options.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

MO has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised Altria Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $47.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft dropped their price target on Altria Group from $60.00 to $46.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Barclays cut Altria Group from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Cowen lowered their price objective on Altria Group from $56.00 to $45.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Bank of America lowered their price objective on Altria Group from $50.00 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.00.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P bought a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Bromfield Sneider Wealth Advisors bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. DB Wealth Management Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 286.2% in the 1st quarter. DB Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 435 shares during the last quarter. Reitz Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 1st quarter valued at about $31,000. Finally, Rinkey Investments purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Institutional investors own 59.75% of the company’s stock.

Altria Group Price Performance

NYSE:MO opened at $42.97 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $77.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.59. Altria Group has a one year low of $41.00 and a one year high of $57.05. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $44.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $48.94.

Altria Group (NYSE:MOGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.01. Altria Group had a negative return on equity of 488.86% and a net margin of 6.88%. The business had revenue of $5.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.23 EPS. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Altria Group will post 4.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Altria Group Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.94 per share. This represents a $3.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.75%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.90. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 371.13%.

About Altria Group

(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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