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Philip Morris (PM) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Philip Morris (PM) closed at $69.62 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.17% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.53% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.36%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.94%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands had lost 17.6% over the past month. This has lagged the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 3.42% and the S&P 500's loss of 1.47% in that time.

PM will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 14, 2019. On that day, PM is projected to report earnings of $1.18 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 9.92%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $7.34 billion, down 11.54% from the prior-year quarter.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for PM. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

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 has moved 0.24% lower. PM is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that PM has a Forward P/E ratio of 13.12 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 12.02, which means PM is trading at a premium to the group.

Meanwhile, PM's PEG ratio is currently 1.51. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. Tobacco stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.51 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Tobacco industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 185, which puts it in the bottom 28% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.


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