Capital Research & Management Co recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Defensive company by 8.49% to 96.4 million shares with purchase of 7.55 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 5.43% valued currently at $4.26 billion. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 1.24 million to 70.56 million shares. And Charles Schwab Investment Managem has lifted its position by 3.77% or 1.59 million shares – to 43.62 million shares.
With over 28.86 million Altria Group Inc. (MO) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $43.53 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $1.26 billion. The shares have shown a negative half year performance of -5.72% and its price on 09/15/23 lost nearly -1.29%. Currently, there are 1.78B common shares owned by the public and among those 1.77B shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 17 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for MO have a consensus price objective of $49.14. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $70.00 and a low of $37.00. The average price target is 11.36% above its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -17.65% over that period. But an upside of 37.81% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $49.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 42 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 30 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 317,449 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 12 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 101,426 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Altria Group Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF owns 55.61 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $2.46 billion. The company sold 4725.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 3.13% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 0.24 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 42.99 million shares valued at over $1.9 billion and representing 2.42% of the shares outstanding. Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF sold 14770.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 28.1 million shares at a value of $1.24 billion. Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF now owns shares totaling to 1.58% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) opened at $43.93, down -$0.17 from a prior closing price of $44.10. However, the script later moved the day high at 44.13, down -1.29%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -1.25% and -1.40% over the past three months. MO shares are trading -4.77% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 4.24% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $40.35 and touched a high of $48.99 over the same period. MO has an average intraday trading volume of 7.38 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -0.59%, -2.10%, and -4.20% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) shares accounts for 59.60% of the company’s 1.78B shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 23.77%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 35.90% and 0.71% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $78.26B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.63. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 11.44, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $3.81. The company has a PEG of 3.21 and a Quick Ratio of 0.30. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.27% over the week and 1.16% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc. (MO) will achieve an EPS of $1.3 for the current quarter, $1.19 for the next quarter and $5.19 for 2024. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.26 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.35. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.28 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 138.70%, and 4.07% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 3.56% over the next five years, compared to -2.20% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 17 brokerage firm advisors rate Altria Group Inc. (MO) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.70. Specifically, 5 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 9 of the 17 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the MO, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Stifel stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on April 14, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $52.