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Altria (MO) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Altria (MO) closed the most recent trading day at $46.86, moving +1.06% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.75%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.55%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.01%.

Heading into today, shares of the owner of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker had gained 2.57% over the past month, lagging the Consumer Staples sector's gain of 5.92% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.49% in that time.

Altria will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.17, up 7.34% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $5.13 billion, up 0.83% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.84 per share and revenue of $20.79 billion. These totals would mark changes of +4.99% and -1.52%, respectively, from last year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Altria. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. Altria is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

In terms of valuation, Altria is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 9.59. This represents a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 9.88.

Also, we should mention that MO has a PEG ratio of 2.4. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Tobacco industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.95 as of yesterday's close.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 29, putting it in the top 12% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow MO in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.

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