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

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.

Altria Group ( MO) pushed the Tobacco industry higher today making it today's featured tobacco winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Altria Group rose $0.60 (1.6%) to $38.25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,851,487 shares of Altria Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,793,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $37.74-$38.26 after having opened the day at $37.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.65. Other companies within the Tobacco industry that increased today were: Reynolds American ( RAI), up 2.5% and British American Tobacco ( BTI), up 1.8%.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria Group has a market cap of $75.2 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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 expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. 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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