First up is "sin stock" Altria Group (MO), the $65 billion tobacco and alcohol giant that owns brands such as Marlboro in addition to a massive cellar of wine brands and a 27% stake in SABMiller (SBMRY: Pink Sheets), the second-biggest beer brewer in the world. That exposure to legacy tobacco and the alcoholic beverage business don't just make Altria the prototypical sin stock -- it also generates hefty dividend payouts for shareholders. Currently, MO pays a 41-cent quarterly dividend per share. We're counting on that to rise in the next quarter.
In recent years, Altria has made big moves to wring value out of its nontobacco assets and then shed them. The firm unloaded the last vestiges of its former ownership of Kraft Foods (KFT) in 2007, and in 2008 it split off its international business. The moves make Altria a pure play on alcohol and U.S. tobacco, a change that makes MO's valuation more transparent and has helped to unlock considerable value for shareholders in the last few years.>>5 Value Stocks Insiders Are Snapping Up Let's be frank: The firm's tobacco business is dying a slow death as American consumers slowly reduce their demand for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products -- and that's just fine. Tobacco demand is decreasing quite slowly, and pricing hikes should help to offset any volume declines. More important, enormous free cash flow generation means that Altria should continue to throw off increasingly large dividend payouts for shareholders as it continues doing what it knows best. The firm has been paying out a 41 cent dividend, a 5.08% yield, for three straight quarters now. We'll see if a hike is on the way when management announced second quarter earnings. I also featured Altria earlier this month in "5 Rocket Stocks Ready for Blastoff."
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