Lorillard Inc. (LO): Today's Featured Tobacco Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Lorillard ( LO) pushed the Tobacco industry higher today making it today's featured tobacco winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Lorillard rose $4.05 (3.2%) to $129 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.5 million shares of Lorillard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $124.69-$129.26 after having opened the day at $125.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $124.95. Another company within the Tobacco industry that increased today was Star Scientific ( STSI), up 3.5%.

Lorillard, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It markets approximately 43 product offerings in various brand names, including Newport, Kent, True, Maverick, and Old Gold. Lorillard has a market cap of $16.08 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, above the average tobacco industry P/E ratio of 15.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Lorillard a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lorillard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the tobacco industry could consider PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage ( PBJ) while those bearish on the tobacco industry could consider PowerShares DB Agriculture Sht ETN ( ADZ).

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