Altria (MO) closed the most recent trading day at $45.22, moving -0.31% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.12%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.13%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 4.09%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 0.68% over the past month. This has was narrower than the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 4.6% and lagged the S&P 500's gain of 3.98% in that time.
Altria will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. On that day, Altria is projected to report earnings of $1.32 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 4.76%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.5 billion, up 2.29% from the year-ago period.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $5.02 per share and revenue of $20.93 billion, which would represent changes of +3.72% and +1.17%, respectively, from the prior year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for Altria. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 1.61% lower within the past month. Altria is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Investors should also note Altria's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 9.03. This represents a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 9.6.
It is also worth noting that MO currently has a PEG ratio of 2.26. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. MO's industry had an average PEG ratio of 2.3 as of yesterday's close.
The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 178, which puts it in the bottom 30% 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.
To follow MO in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.
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