NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of Altria Group (MO - Get Report) are down by 1.32% to $60.60 in pre-market trading on Thursday, after the stock was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.
The Richmond-based manufacturer of cigarettes was downgraded due to its high valuation, the firm said. BofA/Merrill Lynch maintained its $66 price target on the stock.
"We see limited expansion from here," the firm said.
However, Altria still has quality fundamentals and a high market share, BofA/Merrill Lynch continued.
Competitor Reynolds American (RAI) remains the firm's top pick.
Separately, recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings rates this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: MO