Trade-Ideas: Altria Group (MO) Is Today's Pre-Market Leader Stock

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Altria Group ( MO) as a pre-market leader candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Altria Group as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $256.6 million.
  • MO traded 48,387 shares today in the pre-market hours as of 8:58 AM.
  • MO is up 2.1% today from yesterday's close.

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More details on MO:

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4.7%. MO has a PE ratio of 20.2. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Altria Group has been 6.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Altria Group has a market cap of $87.0 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and tobacco industry. The stock has a beta of 0.52 and a short float of 1% with 3.20 days to cover. Shares are up 12.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.93%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • ALTRIA GROUP INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $2.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.26).
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.25% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness 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.

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

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