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

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Altria (MO - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $49.39, moving +1.02% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.85%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.15%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.77%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 12.6% over the past month. This has lagged the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 8.25% and the S&P 500's loss of 9.35% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from MO as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be February 7, 2019. In that report, analysts expect MO to post earnings of $1.07 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 17.58%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $4.82 billion, up 22.59% from the prior-year quarter.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for MO. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.17% lower within the past month. MO currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, MO is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 12.27. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 12.21, so we one might conclude that MO is trading at a premium comparatively.

We can also see that MO currently has a PEG ratio of 1.43. 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. The Tobacco industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.54 as of yesterday's close.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 198, putting it in the bottom 23% 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.

To follow MO in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.




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