Better Stock Today Challenge: Philip Morris vs. AbbVie

In the spirit of World Cup competition, we’re holding our own tournament in search of the Better Stock Today.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:20PM

In the spirit of World Cup competition, we're holding our own tournament in search of the Better Stock Today. We're pitting 32 companies against each other and you, the reader, will determine the winner.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) takes on AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) for this last round-robin match up in our search for the better stock today.

Consumer Goods analyst Mark Reeth believes the No. 1 reason Philip Morris International should take the prize is its unmatched brand power. With the international rights to Marlboro, the world's bestselling cigarette brand by far, Philip Morris claims 28% of the global cigarette market. This massive scale and pricing power rewards the company with the industry's leading profit margins, which should enable it to return even more cash to owners in the form of dividends and buybacks over time. 

Motley Fool health care analyst David Williamson makes the case for AbbVie to win this match-up. He believes AbbVie has been fundamentally undervalued by the market. It is cheap compared to its pharma peers, and its pipeline with hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis drugs in late-stage development is underrated. AbbVie still has Humira, the bestselling drug in the world, under patent until 2016, and generic-drug makers may struggle to get cheap competitors approved after that. AbbVie is poised to outperform in the meantime.

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Vote here to determine the winner of this match and sound off in the comments box below. Check back to Fool.com to see who advances in the tournament.

David Williamson owns shares of AbbVie and Philip Morris International. Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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