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. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Altria Group (NYSE: MO) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.
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- MO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Tobacco industry and the overall market, ALTRIA GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry. The net income increased by 175.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $444.00 million to $1,225.00 million.
- ALTRIA GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALTRIA GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $1.64 versus $1.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.21 versus $1.64).
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge! Free Download Now