Better Stock Today Challenge: Philip Morris vs. Melco Crown

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.

Today it's the round of 16, and Philip Morris International  (NYSE: PM  )  takes on Melco Crown Entertainment  (NASDAQ: MPEL  )  in our search for the better stock.

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 margin, which should enable it to return even more cash to owners over time in the form of dividends and buybacks.  

Consumer goods analyst Sean O'Reilly makes the case for Melco Crown Entertainment in this matchup. Sean believes that while growth fears in the company's main market of Macau have led to a pullback in the stock, the upcoming opening of its City of Dreams Manila resort later this year, coupled with possible Japanese gaming legalization, mean Melco Crown should win this round of the competition. 

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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.


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