Altria Group Inc. (MO): Today's Featured Consumer Goods Winner

Altria Group ( MO) pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today making it today's featured consumer goods winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Altria Group rose 24 cents (0.8%) to $31.94 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.7 million shares of Altria Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.49-$31.97 after having opened the day at $31.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.69. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that increased today were: Shiner International ( BEST), up 40.5%, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 17.2%, Imperial Sugar Company ( IPSU), up 14.3%, and Skechers USA ( SKX), up 13.7%.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria Group has a market cap of $64.55 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, equal to the average tobacco industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Gruma S.A.B. de C.V ( GMK), down 8.4%, Select Comfort Corporation ( SCSS), down 8.2%, Crocs ( CROX), down 8.1%, and Domtar ( UFS), down 6.7%, were all losers within the consumer goods sector with Nu Skin ( NUS) being today's consumer goods sector loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the consumer goods sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the consumer goods sector could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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