Altria Group (MO) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold” – BangaloreWeekly

According to Zacks, “Altria’s earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the second quarter 2017, while revenues beat the same. Both Altria’s earnings and revenues grew year-over-year driven by strong cigarette pricing and increase in smokeless products. In fact, Altria’s MarkTen e-cigarette brand  continued to boost volume in the quarter. However, we note that Altria has underperformed the industry in the past six months. The ongoing anti-tobacco campaigns and price rise to offset the rising taxes have been hurting the demand for tobacco. Moreover, consumers are opting for e-cigarettes or substitutes for cigarettes, in turn affecting the cigarette volume. Nevertheless, the company expects higher earnings towards the second half of the year. We believe the company’s strong brand portfolio, its shift to low-risk, smokeless tobacco to boost market share and its efforts to return value to its shareholders remains appealing.”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on MO. Vetr raised shares of

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