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It's been a good year for everyone's favorite sin stock,
Philip Morris International(PM - Get Report). So far in 2012, shares of the tobacco giant have rallied more than 13%, besting the broad market's returns over that period by 491 basis points. And that doesn't even include PM's big 3.46% dividend yield.
Philip Morris International is the result of a 2008 spin off that separated
Altria's(MO) domestic business from its international operations. The result is a firm that has exposure to the markets where cigarette use is still growing, and the Western brand portfolio that's so popular with tobacco customers overseas, particularly in emerging markets. At present, PM owns around 28% of the entire global tobacco market.
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PM has an attractive mix of markets in its book right now. Regions like Western Europe and Japan offer mature income streams, not unlike the domestic market here at home. At the same time, markets like Vietnam and Serbia hold the keys to growth for PM's flagship Marlboro brand. Customer stickiness in the tobacco business makes it all the more attractive right now, even if a strong dollar has been like kryptonite for earnings.
Once PM can unleash its full income statement power under more normalized currency conditions, the stock should shine -- and so should its dividend payout.