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

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Altria (MO - Free Report) closed at $56.77 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.89% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.22%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.49%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.15%.

Coming into today, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 5.99% in the past month. In that same time, the Consumer Staples sector gained 2.57%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.57%.

MO will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 7, 2019. In that report, analysts expect MO to post earnings of $0.95 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 4.4%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $4.85 billion, up 23.32% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $3.99 per share and revenue of $19.65 billion. These totals would mark changes of +18.05% and +4.99%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for MO. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.14% lower. MO is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Looking at its valuation, MO is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 14.35. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.4.

We can also see that MO currently has a PEG ratio of 1.63. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. MO's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.88 as of yesterday's close.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 164, which puts it in the bottom 36% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. 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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