NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Altria Group (MO) - Get Report stock is slumping by 3.01% to $61.90 on heavy trading volume this afternoon, as shares of tobacco companies retreat on concerns about anticipated e-cigarette regulations.
The primary worry is that the final regulations will restrict innovation, which is "crucial for long-term success in this category," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a note, according to Barron's. However, if anything, growth will probably slow rather than stop altogether.
"In our opinion, this reaction is overdone and we encourage investors to take advantage of the weakness and buy the stocks," the firm added.
Regulation within the industry should be viewed as a positive, since it will increase the barriers to entry and likely entrench tobacco companies even further, Wells Fargo contended, Barron's reports.
The firm remains bullish on the sector given the strength of the companies' core businesses.
Altria is a tobacco and cigarette company based in Richmond, VA.
About 11.3 million shares of Altria have been traded so far today, well above the company's average trading volume of roughly 6.31 million shares per day.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+.
Altria's strengths such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net incomeoutweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: MO
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.