Altria Group: More Downside To Come

11/14/17

Earlier this month, Altria Group (NYSE:MO) held an investors conference, where the company presented its long-term growth strategy and confirmed its guidance on 2017 earnings. However, since mid-summer Altria’s stock has tumbled by more than 10 points from its YTD high and, in our opinion, there is every reason to believe that we should expect a further decline in the upcoming months.

It’s not a secret that tobacco industry relies heavily on lobbying strategies, goal of which is to reduce the regulatory pressure on their business. Over the last few decades the tobacco lobby funded its own studies that showed smoking in a positive way and made public to believe that cigarettes are not as harmful as a lot of people perceive them to be. During the 2016 election cycle, Altria Group alone donated more than $9 million as contributions to politicians, PAC’s, parties and different committees. However, we do believe that the decision whether to smoke or not is the responsibility of each and every individual, as long as their smoking habits do not harm others and the environment. So while politics plays a big role in the industry and there are a lot of dirty strategies involved in pushing the tobacco agenda, we decided to look at Altria from a business standpoint and see if their shares are attractive as a long-term investment or not.

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