NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America/Merrill Lynch  (BAC) - Get Report upgraded Altria Group  (MO) - Get Report to "buy" from "neutral" on Friday.

The firm set a $50 price target and also increased its estimates on the shares.

The stock closed at $45.11 on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ALTRIA GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ALTRIA GROUP INC (MO) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.