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Directors of These 3 Tobacco Giants Acquire Shares

- By Alberto Abaterusso

The directors of the following tobacco giants have reported changes to their beneficial ownership. This information is important to investors because it can give a hint about the next trend in the share price of each stock.

These three directors acquired common shares of Altria Group Inc. (MO) on March 29 at an average price of $57.135 per common share of the tobacco company under the deferred fee plan for non-employee directors of Altria.


Thomas F. Farrell II acquired 240 common shares for a total direct ownership of 107,837 common shares of which 31,856 shares are held under the plan.

Debra J. Kelly Ennis acquired 481 common shares of Altria Group. The director now has total direct ownership on 39,702 common shares of Altria of which 15,945 shares are held under the plan.

Mark Newman acquired 240 common shares of Altria Group for a total direct holding of 10,572 common shares of which 1,255 shares refer to the plan.

Three directors of Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) acquired common shares of their own company on March 29 at an average price of $87.795 per common share according to the deferred fee plan for non-employee directors of Philip Morris.

Massimo Ferragamo acquired 356 common shares of Philip Morris International for a total direct ownership on 8,404 common shares of the tobacco company of which 3,345 are held under the plan.

Jun Makihara acquired 455 common shares of Philip Morris International. The director has total ownership of 22,242 common shares of Philip Morris, with 6.1% in an indirect holding and 93.9% in a direct holding, including 8,715 shares held under the plan.

Lucio A. Noto acquired 427 common shares of his own company for a total direct holding of 164,634 common shares of which 99,052 are held under the plan. The director also indirectly holds 39,281 common shares of Philip Morris International.

In addition, four directors of British American Tobacco PLC (BTI) (LSE:BATS) were awarded on March 28 at a price of British pounds 30.83 ($40.7) per share pursuant to the deferred share bonus scheme of British American Tobacco.

Executive Nicandro Durante was awarded 53,113 common shares, Executive Jack Bowles was granted 26,192 common shares and Financial Director John Benedict Stevens was rewarded with 28,472 common shares. In addition, Director of Legal and External Affairs and General Counsel Jerome Abelman was awarded 13,785 common shares of British American Tobacco.

On Tuesday, shares of Altria closed at $56.69 each for a market capitalization of $106.26 billion, shares of Philip Morris closed at $88.01 each for a market capitalization of $136.93 billion and shares of British American Tobacco PLC closed at 31.79 British pounds ($41.59) each. The market capitalization of British American Tobacco was 72.91 billion British pounds or roughly $95.4 billion.

Year to date, Altria Group increased 15%, Philip Morris International grew 32% and British American Tobacco climbed 30% while the S&P 500 gained 14%.

Altria Group has a 52-week range of $42.40 to $66.04, Philip Morris International of $64.67 to $103.55 and British American Tobacco of 23.37 to 43.39 British pounds.

Altria Group has a price-earnings ratio of 15.40 versus an industry median of 17.38, a price-book ratio of 7.19 versus an industry median of 3.78, a price-sales ratio of 4.22 versus an industry median of 2.66 and a forward dividend yield of 5.54% compared to the industry median of 5%.

Philip Morris has a price-earnings ratio of 17.32 versus an industry median of 17.38, a price-sales ratio of 4.63 versus an industry median of 2.66 and a forward dividend yield of 5.17% compared to the industry median of 5%.

British American Tobacco has a price-earnings ratio of 12.09 versus an industry median of 17.38, a price-book ratio of 1.11 versus an industry median of 3.78, a price-sales ratio of 2.92 versus an industry median of 2.66 and a forward dividend yield of 6.39% compared to the industry median of 5%.

The 14-day Relative Strength Indicator of Altria Group is 59.58, of Philip Morris is 54.05 and of British American Tobacco is 57.

Wall Street issued an overweight recommendation rating on shares of Altria with an average price target of $58.20 each, an overweight recommendation rating on shares of Philip Morris with an average target price of $89.83 and a buy recommendation rating on shares of British American. The average target price for British American Tobacco is 35.93 British pounds per share.

Investors for sure know that overweight recommendation rating means that the stock is foreseen by analysts to outperform either the industry or the overall market within 52 weeks.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any securities mentioned.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.