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Altria (MO) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Altria (MO) closed at $40.90 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.92% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.51%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.36%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.75%.

Heading into today, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 9.31% over the past month, lagging the Consumer Staples sector's gain of 2.74% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.44% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from MO as it approaches its next earnings report date. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.10, up 1.85% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $5.29 billion, unchanged from the prior-year quarter.

MO's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.19 per share and revenue of $19.71 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +5.01% and +0.41%, respectively.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for MO. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.76% higher. MO is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Looking at its valuation, MO is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 9.59. This represents a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 10.99.

Investors should also note that MO has a PEG ratio of 1.25 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Tobacco industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.25 as of yesterday's close.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 41, which puts it in the top 17% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.


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