Altria (MO) closed the most recent trading day at $43.16, moving -1.75% from the previous trading session. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's 3.39% loss on the day. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 3.58%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 3.1%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had lost 5.08% over the past month. This has lagged the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 3.55% and the S&P 500's loss of 4.8% in that time.
MO will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $0.99, up 10% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $4.59 billion, up 4.51% from the year-ago period.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.41 per share and revenue of $20.19 billion. These totals would mark changes of +4.5% and +2.01%, respectively, from last year.
Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for MO. 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.
Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.17% higher within the past month. MO is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
In terms of valuation, MO is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 9.96. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 11.08, which means MO is trading at a discount to the group.
Meanwhile, MO's PEG ratio is currently 1.56. 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. Tobacco stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.49 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 108, which puts it in the top 43% 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.