Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Philip Morris in 2012: Still Smoking

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

2012 is nearing its end, and now's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout the year to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things that a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) . Well-known as a spinoff from former parent Altria (NYSE: MO  ) , Philip Morris represents the international side of what used to be a global tobacco business. With its focus outside the U.S., Philip Morris has avoided many of the controversies involving domestic tobacco companies, but it faces its own challenges. Below, you'll find more on what moved shares of Philip Morris this year.

Stats on Philip Morris

Year-to-date stock return


Market cap

$148 billion

1-year revenue growth


1-year net income growth


Dividend yield


CAPS rating (out of 5)


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

What's Philip Morris been up to this year?
Ever since its spinoff, Philip Morris has been a natural pick for investors wanting to avoid the battle in the U.S. against tobacco. This year, the benefits of that strategy became more obvious than ever, as U.S. tobacco companies faced an onslaught from all fronts. Although Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI  ) and Lorillard (UNKNOWN: LO.DL  ) managed to get an FDA ruling overturned in court that would have forced it to display graphic warning labels, the industry has had to deal with an ad campaign from the Centers for Disease Control as well as increased taxation and regulation at the local level, with New York City among municipalities limiting smoking with its outdoor ban. Altria and Reynolds have had to answer with layoffs to keep margins up.

Even though it doesn't have to deal with U.S. regulators, Philip Morris hasn't been immune from regulatory pressure, as foreign governments start following some of the same tactics that have hurt U.S. tobacco companies. Earlier this year, Australia's highest court upheld a decision that will force Philip Morris, British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT: BTI  ) , and other tobacco companies to remove all brand logos from cigarette packs, leaving only bland packages with warnings that include graphic images. That hits Philip Morris especially hard, as its Marlboro brand is well known around the world.

Perhaps the most interesting thing affecting Philip Morris is the recent rush toward looking at tobacco as a possible source for a flu vaccine. With a huge potential customer base in China, Philip Morris hopes to use vaccine research as a way to break into the emerging market, as state-owned China National Tobacco has a near-monopoly there.

Philip Morris has held up quite well in 2012, with its lucrative dividend helping keep investors happy. The stock faces constant threats, but so far, the company has navigated dangerous minefields quite well.

Don't stop learning
With a decent 2012 for the company nearly over, how will Philip Morris do in 2013? Get our latest views on whether Philip Morris is still a buy from The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company, which includes a more in-depth analysis of its opportunities and challenges ahead. To claim your report, along with a year's worth of analyst updates as key news develops, just click here now.

Click here to add Philip Morris to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2142236, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 5:34:42 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 8 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,199.33 30.06 0.17%
S&P 500 2,139.43 -3.73 -0.17%
NASD 5,250.27 -33.13 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/26/2016 4:00 PM
PM $96.05 Down -0.53 -0.55%
Philip Morris Inte… CAPS Rating: ****
BTI $111.59 Down -2.69 -2.35%
British American T… CAPS Rating: *****
LO.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Lorillard CAPS Rating: ****
MO $64.52 Down -0.19 -0.29%
Altria Group CAPS Rating: ****
RAI $54.17 Down -0.79 -1.44%
Reynolds American CAPS Rating: ****