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Philip Morris International Inc.'s Hold Recommendation Supported

Stocks in this article: PM

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • PM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL has improved earnings per share by 9.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL increased its bottom line by earning $5.18 versus $4.84 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.41 versus $5.18).
  • The gross profit margin for PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL is rather high; currently it is at 69.43%. Regardless of PM's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PM's net profit margin of 29.51% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry average. The net income increased by 5.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,227.00 million to $2,340.00 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, PM has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. Philip Morris International has a market cap of $144.6 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and tobacco industry. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Philip Morris International Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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