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Altria (MO) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

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Altria (MO - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $43.92, moving +1.64% from the previous trading session. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.85% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.17%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.05%.

Heading into today, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 3.14% over the past month, lagging the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 2.59% and the S&P 500's loss of 0.97% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from Altria as it approaches its next earnings report date. In that report, analysts expect Altria to post earnings of $1.09 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 10.1%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.04 billion, down 0.24% from the year-ago period.

MO's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.61 per share and revenue of $21.03 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +5.73% and +0.93%, respectively.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for Altria should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about 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.

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 0.03% lower. Altria currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, Altria currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 9.37. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 9.91, so we one might conclude that Altria is trading at a discount comparatively.

It is also worth noting that MO currently has a PEG ratio of 2.34. 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. The Tobacco industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.91 as of yesterday's close.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 227, putting it in the bottom 11% 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.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.


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