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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Altria Group

(

MO

) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Altria Group as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MO has 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 4.55 mentions/day.
  • MO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $371.5 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on MO:

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 3.9%. MO has a PE ratio of 24.9. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Recommends

The average volume for Altria Group has been 6.5 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Altria Group has a market cap of $106.7 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and tobacco industry. The stock has a beta of 0.72 and a short float of 0.6% with 1.83 days to cover. Shares are up 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Altria Group as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ALTRIA GROUP INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $2.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.26).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Tobacco industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 0.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,396.00 million to $1,397.00 million.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 45.95% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.18%. Regardless of MO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MO's net profit margin of 29.39% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • MO, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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