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As the world's second largest tobacco company,
Philip Morris International (
PM) is the prototypical sin stock. It boasts recognizable brands, a sticky customer base, and a hefty dividend payout -- and the payout looks due for a dividend hike. As I write, Philip Morris International currently pays out a 85 cents each quarter, adding up to a 4.05% yield.
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Philip Morris owns almost 30% of the world's tobacco market. And much of that success is thanks to a single iconic brand: Marlboro. The firm has owned Marlboro (as well as second-tier names such as L&M and Parliament) internationally ever since
MO) split up its international and domestic operations. Between the two markets, PM owns the more attractive franchise by far. After all, the international market is the only one that's actually growing.
While the U.S. market for tobacco products is rife with regulation and demographic shifts are turning away from smoking, international tobacco sales are up -- especially in emerging markets. Premium positioning in markets like India, China and Indonesia translates into substantial cash flows for PM investors. And while the strength of the dollar has been a challenge post-2008, the potential for a
Fed taper could strengthen this stock's payout in 2013.