Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) announced its 2016 first-quarter business results and reaffirmed its guidance for 2016 full-year adjusted diluted EPS.

  • Altria’s 2016 first-quarter reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 19.2% to $0.62, as comparisons were affected by special items.
  • Altria’s 2016 first-quarter adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes the impact of special items, increased 14.3% to $0.72.
  • Altria reaffirms its 2016 full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance to be in a range of $3.00 to $3.05, representing a growth rate of 7% to 9% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $2.80 in 2015.

“Altria is off to an excellent start in 2016, growing adjusted diluted earnings per share by 14.3% despite a tough 2015 comparison,” said Marty Barrington, Altria’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Our first-quarter results illustrate the strength of our core tobacco businesses and our focus on execution. And Altria paid shareholders over $1.1 billion in dividends during the quarter.”

“The smokeable products segment continued its outstanding performance with contributions across the brand portfolio. In smokeless products, USSTC continues to execute its strategies, including the successful national expansion of its innovative Copenhagen Mint.”

“We also have made significant progress against the $300 million productivity initiative we announced on January 28th. Among other actions, we completed the realignment of our organization in the quarter,” said Mr. Barrington.(Original Source)

Shares of Altria closed yesterday at $61.55, up $0.20 or 0.33%. MO has a 1-year high of $64.16 and a 1-year low of $47.31. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $62.09 and its 200-day moving average is $59.18.

On the ratings front, Altria has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 14, Goldman Sachs analyst Judy Hong maintained a Hold rating on MO, with a price target of $63, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels. Separately, on March 28, Wells Fargo’s Bonnie Herzog maintained a Buy rating on the stock .

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Judy Hong and Bonnie Herzog have a total average return of 17.3% and 13.9% respectively. Hong has a success rate of 70.7% and is ranked #246 out of 3839 analysts, while Herzog has a success rate of 84.0% and is ranked #468.

The street is mostly Neutral on MO stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 3 suggest a Hold rating and one recommends to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $63.00, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels.