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"PM reported a very impressive 1Q12 adj. EPS of $1.25, beating our forecast by 2 [cents] and consensus by 5 [cents]," Jefferies analysts wrote in an April 20 report. "PM's top 10 brands seem to be firing on all cylinders and volume and pricing (LatAm/Canada being a minor exception) were stronger than we thought. Despite the strength, we expect PM to trade sideways for the next few months due to its high valuation (esp. relative to BAT), currency concerns and the Japan headwind for 2Q12."
Shares of Philip Morris hit a 52-week high Friday of $90.22. The stock's 52-week low of $60.45 was set on Oct. 4.
Philip Morris trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 15.35 times; the average for tobacco companies is 12.37. For comparison,
Altria(MO) has a forward P/E of 13.58.
Fourteen of the 22 analysts who cover Philip Morris rated it buy. Seven analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.
TheStreet Ratings gives Philip Morris a B grade with a buy rating and
$113.86 price target. The stock has risen 15.1% year to date.