Altria's (MO) Share Price is Marlboro Man Cool
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) beat the Street by one Penny last week and despite a solid guidance with products that American's have grown to love over the years shares are stuck at $18. Tack on Altria's 28.7% stake in the world's largest brewing company SABMiller and you got yourself a tough guy that is just waiting for the right time to smoke the competition.
Last week Altria Group Inc. (MO) said it expects 2009 earnings of $1.74 to $1.77 per share. The company's previous guidance was earnings of $1.72 to $1.77 per share and the current consensus earnings estimate is $1.76 per share for the year ending December 31, 2009.
Altria's stock fell just below $18 and has since recovered to around $18.20 a share. MO reported an adjusted Q3 profit of 48 cents per share, topping analysts' forecasts by a penny on Oct 20th. Q3 revenue fell to $4.32 billion, missing analysts' projections of $4.66 billion -- waah, go take a smoke break kid.
Chairman and CEO Michael Szymanczyk said on the call, "The premium brands of Altria's tobacco operating companies, Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild, continue to display great strength in a challenging operating environment. Altria remains focused on returning cash to shareholders in the form of dividends, as evidenced by our recent 6.3% dividend increase, reflecting the underlying financial strength of our businesses."
Searching for a stock to buy that won't get killed should 'the great pullback' occur that 80% of investors have been waiting for? Altria just may be that company that you should add to your watch list thanks to its stellar balance sheet, great management team, and incredible yet controversial product line.
I'm not buying MO yet, I'd like it to get down below $18 a share. However for those of us waiting for stocks like Altria to 'get cheaper', we may get 'smoked' before we get the chance. Stay cool.
Disclaimer: No positions in any of the securities mentioned in this publication.
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