Could Altria Group Inc Change Direction After Today’s Bearish Options Activity?

 Could Altria Group Inc Change Direction After Today's Bearish Options Activity?

In today’s session Altria Group Inc (MO) recorded an unusually high (414) contracts volume of put trades. Someone, most probably a professional was a very active buyer of the November, 2016 put, expecting serious MO decrease. With 414 contracts traded and 2764 open interest for the Nov, 16 contract, it seems this is a quite bearish bet. The option with symbol: MO161118P00060000 closed last at: $0.86 or 45.8% up. About 2.48M shares traded hands. Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) has declined 1.62% since March 3, 2016 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 9.97% the S&P500.

Analysts await Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) to report earnings on November, 3. They expect $0.81 EPS, up 8.00% or $0.06 from last year’s $0.75 per share. MO’s profit will be $1.57 billion for 19.05 P/E if the $0.81 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.81 actual EPS reported by Altria Group Inc for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 0.00% EPS growth.

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) Ratings Coverage

Out of 13 analysts covering Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), 8 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 5 “Hold”. This means 62% are positive. Altria Group Inc. has been the topic of 16 analyst reports since July 31, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. Vetr upgraded Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) rating on Wednesday, September 2. Vetr has “Strong-Buy” rating and $58.49 price target. The company was maintained on Monday, June 27 by Stifel Nicolaus. The firm has “Hold” rating given on Wednesday, September 21 by Jefferies. The rating was downgraded by RBC Capital Markets on Tuesday, November 3 to “Sector Perform”. The company was initiated on Tuesday, June 14 by Berenberg. The firm has “Buy” rating by Citigroup given on Tuesday, September 13. Bank of America downgraded Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on Thursday, March 24 to “Neutral” rating. Argus Research upgraded the shares of MO in a report on Monday, May 9 to “Buy” rating. The stock of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) earned “Outperform” rating by CLSA on Thursday, September 15. Cowen & Co downgraded it to “Market Perform” rating and $65 target price in Friday, October 30 report.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Altria Group is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Their tobacco company brand portfolios consist of successful and well-known brand names such as Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild.”

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.93 in 2016 Q2. Its down 0.17, from 1.1 in 2016Q1. The ratio dropped, as 40 funds sold all Altria Group Inc shares owned while 519 reduced positions. 68 funds bought stakes while 454 increased positions. They now own 1.16 billion shares or 3.01% less from 1.20 billion shares in 2016Q1.
Perkins Capital Mgmt holds 1.38% or 17,400 shares in its portfolio. Atria Investments Limited Company accumulated 15,170 shares or 0.11% of the stock. Carlson Cap Mngmt reported 7,052 shares or 0.17% of all its holdings. Moreover, Buckingham Asset Management Ltd Company has 0.14% invested in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) for 5,816 shares. Architects Incorporated owns 13,913 shares or 0.27% of their US portfolio. Beacon Company holds 0.08% of its portfolio in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) for 6,950 shares. Meiji Yasuda Life Insur has invested 0.61% of its portfolio in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO). Foothills Asset Management Limited has 2.69% invested in the company for 49,355 shares. Newman Dignan Sheerar Inc holds 3,780 shares or 0.16% of its portfolio. Wealthfront has 0.13% invested in the company for 64,265 shares. Moreover, Park Corporation Oh has 0.13% invested in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) for 29,206 shares. Cohen Klingenstein holds 0.34% of its portfolio in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) for 26,605 shares. Perkins Coie, a Washington-based fund reported 410 shares. Moreover, Oxbow Advsr Ltd Co has 0.04% invested in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) for 3,636 shares. Fukoku Mutual Life Insur holds 2.77% or 205,300 shares in its portfolio.

Insider Transactions: Since May 9, 2016, the stock had 1 buying transaction, and 4 sales for $2.06 million net activity. Another trade for 4,000 shares valued at $252,800 was made by Sakkab Nabil Y on Friday, May 20. 11,000 shares with value of $731,861 were sold by Whitaker Charles N. on Thursday, August 4. Dillard James E III also sold $600,129 worth of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on Wednesday, August 3. 12,571 shares were sold by MUNOZ GEORGE, worth $790,087. Quigley Brian W. had sold 3,000 shares worth $190,993.

Altria Group, Inc. is a holding company. The company has a market cap of $119.52 billion. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc. , which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co. (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S. It has a 21.43 P/E ratio. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC) and Ste.

MO Company Profile

Altria Group, Inc., incorporated on August 27, 2009, is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co. (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC) and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (Ste. Michelle), is engaged in the manufacture and sale of smokeless tobacco products and wine. The Company’s other operating companies include Nu Mark LLC (Nu Mark), a subsidiary that is engaged in the manufacture and sale of tobacco products, and Philip Morris Capital Corporation (PMCC), a subsidiary that maintains a portfolio of finance assets, substantially all of which are leveraged leases. Other subsidiaries include Altria Group Distribution Company, which provides sales, distribution and consumer engagement services to certain its operating subsidiaries, and Altria Client Services LLC, which provides various support services in areas, such as legal, regulatory, finance, human resources and external affairs, to the Company and its subsidiaries. The Company’s financial services business (conducted through PMCC) holds investments in finance leases, principally in transportation (including aircraft), power generation and manufacturing equipment and facilities.

More notable recent Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) news were published by: Fool.com which released: “Better Buy: Altria Group Inc. vs. Reynolds American” on October 03, 2016, also Fool.com with their article: “Altria Group Inc.’s Biggest Failure in 2016 So Far” published on September 30, 2016, Fool.com published: “Altria Group Inc. in 3 Charts” on September 16, 2016. More interesting news about Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) were released by: Seekingalpha.com and their article: “Altria: A 4% Yielding Dividend Champion Is On Sale” published on October 05, 2016 as well as Fool.com‘s news article titled: “Altria Group Inc.’s Worst Move in 2016 So Far” with publication date: September 14, 2016.

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