NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Altria (MO - Get Report) stock is gaining 2.19% to $67.76 on heavy trading volume on Friday afternoon amid an overall market selloff as tobacco companies attract investors seeking a safe haven after the U.K. decided to exit the European Union.

"With Brexit potentially delaying an (interest) rate hike in the U.S., this move likely favors our higher-yielding names, and in particular U.S. tobacco," Cowen & Co analysts said in a note, Reuters reports. "We expect that investors will view global tobacco as a relatively safe haven in a risk-off environment."

Shares of Winston-Salem, NC-based Reynolds American (RAI) are rising 1.67% to $51.69 this afternoon, but shares of Phillip Morris (PM) are down 3.73% to $98.10 because of the company's international exposure.

Last year, European Union sales accounted for more than a third of New York City-based Phillip Morris' revenue, Reuters noted.

So far today, 10.96 million shares of Richmond, VA-based Altria have exchanged hands, nearly double its average daily volume of 5.79 million shares.

Separately, Altria has a "buy" rating and a letter grade of B+ at TheStreet Ratings because of the company's revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MO

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.