|MARKET CAP: [FAIL]
Medium to large-sized companies (the largest 1500 companies) should be chosen, because they are more in the protected eye. Furthermore, the investor is exposed to less risk of "accounting gimmickry", and companies of this size have more staying power. MO has a market cap of $99,930 million, therefore failing the test.
EARNINGS TREND: [PASS]
A company should show a rising trend in the reported earnings for the most recent quarters. MO's EPS for the past 2 quarters, (from earliest to most recent quarter) 0.64, 0.70 have been increasing, and therefore the company passes this test.
EPS GROWTH RATE IN THE IMMEDIATE PAST AND FUTURE: [PASS]
This methodology likes to see companies with an EPS growth rate higher than the S&P in the immediate past and a likelihood that this trend will continue in the near future. MO passes this test as its EPS growth rate over the past 6 months (18.64%) has beaten that of the S&P (9.98%). MO's estimated EPS growth for the current year is (13.72%), which indicates the company is expected to experience positive earnings growth. As a result, MO passes this test.
This methodology would utilize four separate criteria to determine if MO is a contrarian stock. In order to eliminate weak companies we have stipulated that the stock should pass at least two of the following four major criteria in order to receive "Some Interest".
P/E RATIO: [FAIL]
The P/E of a company should be in the bottom 20% of the overall market. MO's P/E of 23.24, , is higher than the bottom 20% criterion (below 12.01), and therefore fails this test.
PRICE/CASH FLOW (P/CF) RATIO: [FAIL]
The P/CF of a company should be in the bottom 20% of the overall market. MO's P/CF of 22.08 does not meet the bottom 20% criterion (below 6.91), and therefore fails this test.
PRICE/BOOK (P/B) VALUE: [FAIL]
The P/B value of a company should be in the bottom 20% of the overall market. MO's P/B is currently 23.28, which does not meet the bottom 20% criterion (below 0.97), and it therefore fails this test.
PRICE/DIVIDEND (P/D) RATIO: [FAIL]
The P/D ratio for a company should be in the bottom 20% of the overall market (that is the yield should be in the top 20%). MO's P/D of 24.33 does not meet the bottom 20% criterion (below 20.37 or yield above 3.7%), and it therefore fails this test.
This methodology maintains that investors should look for as many healthy financial ratios as possible to ascertain the financial strength of the company. These criteria are detailed below.
CURRENT RATIO: [FAIL]
A prospective company must have a strong Current Ratio (greater than or equal to the average of it's industry [4.88] or greater than 2). This is one ident ifier of financially strong companies, according to this methodology. MO's current ratio of 0.77 fails the test.
PAYOUT RATIO: [FAIL]
A good indicator that a company has the ability to raise its dividend is a low payout ratio. The payout ratio for MO is 90.26%, while its historical payout ratio has been 84.76%. Therefore, it fails the payout criterion.
RETURN ON EQUITY: [PASS]
The company should have a high ROE, as this helps to ensure that there are no structural flaws in the company. This methodology feels that the ROE should be greater than the top one third of ROE from among the top 1500 large cap stocks, which is 17.22%, and would consider anything over 27% to be staggering. The ROE for MO of 104.22% is high enough to pass this criterion.
PRE-TAX PROFIT MARGINS: [PASS]
This methodology looks for pre-tax profit margins of at least 8%, and considers anything over 22% to be phenomenal. MO's pre-tax profit margin is 27.02%, thus passing this criterion.
The company in question should have a yield that is high and that can be maintained or increased. MO's current yield is not available (or one is not paid) at the present time, while the market yield is 2.61%. Hence, this criterion cannot be evaluated.
LOOK AT THE TOTAL DEBT/EQUITY: [FAIL]
The company must have a low Debt/Equity ratio, which indicates a strong balance sheet. The Debt/Equity ratio should not be greater than 20%. MO's Total Debt/Equity of 325.87% is not acceptable.