5-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Altria

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, tobacco king Altria (NYSE: MO  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking. Our data has shown that five-star stocks outperform the market by a significant margin; conversely, one-star stocks have woefully lagged the market average.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Altria's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Altria facts

Headquarters (founded)

Richmond, Virginia (1919)

Market Cap

$31.91 billion

Industry

Tobacco

TTM Revenue

$38.67 billion

Management

CEO Michael Szymanczyk

CFO David Beran

Major Brands

Marlboro, Basic, Players, Virginia Slims

Dividend Yield

8.9%

Competitors

Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI  ) ,

British American Tobacco (AMEX: BTI  )

CAPS members bullish on MO also bullish on

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) ,

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  )

CAPS members bearish on MO also bearish on

Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) ,

General Motors (NYSE: GM  )

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, fully 1,614 of the 1,672 All-Star members who have rated Altria -- some 97% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These Foolish bulls include jstegma and mbkelly55, both of whom are ranked in the top 20% of our community.

Last week, jstegma wrote that, stigma aside, the stock's a no-brainer buy: "Whether you approve of the idea or not, people like to smoke, and they're gonna do it whether you buy this stock or not. ... This stock is a consistent dividend payer selling at a nice discount."

In a pitch earlier in the month, mbkelly55 agrees, citing Altria's safe, solid, and high-yielding dividend (which is even better today) as the main reason to stay long:

Altria has been paying solid, reliable dividends for a LONG time and, considering their business is tobacco products, will have a solid business during the hard economic times ahead. This is a great stock at any time and a super stock during an economic downturn being very defensive in nature as well. As of Friday (7 Nov 08) that dividend is over 7%-this is a wonderful time to invest in sin and get paid to wait for better times to eventually return.

What do you think about Altria, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 120,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Microsoft is an Inside Value selection. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.


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