Why Lorillard (LO) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lorillard  (LO) dipped 3.32% to $52.18 at 3 p.m. on Thursday after Reuters reported that the British government wants to ban branded cigarette packaging.

The British government believes this will improve public health and reduce the number of child smokers, according to the report. These rules could become laws by 2015.

The government wants to leave space on the packaging just for health warnings in the form of pictures. This maneuver would make the U.K. just the second country in the world and the first in Europe to mandate plain cigarette packaging; in 2012, Australia enacted law under which cigarettes must be sold in plain olive green packages with images that show their effects, such as lung and mouth cancer. 

The CDC also announced in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that it received 215 poison center calls in February related to e-cigarettes.

Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks

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

TheStreet Ratings team rates LORILLARD INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate LORILLARD INC (LO) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LO's share price has jumped by 31.30%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • LORILLARD INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, LORILLARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.14 versus $2.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.45 versus $3.14).
  • The gross profit margin for LORILLARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 53.99%. Regardless of LO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 22.52% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $457.00 million or 13.61% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LO Ratings Report

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

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.

More from Markets

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: 'Take the Over' on U.S. GDP Topping 3% This Year

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: 'Take the Over' on U.S. GDP Topping 3% This Year

Video: Why the Stock Market Is Discounting China Trade Fears for Now

Video: Why the Stock Market Is Discounting China Trade Fears for Now