With all of the global economic strain, many investors are pressuring those companies that can afford it to increase their dividend yield. Nothing says safe and steady like regular large payments to shareholders. If you're invested in the tobacco space, you know that dividend payouts frequently near 100% of earnings. That's why Philip Morris' (NYSE: PM) 55% payout ratio seems like a great place to squeeze a little extra yield. 

But Philip Morris is more growth-minded than its tobacco company peers, and that cash is better kept in house for expansion, not to mention for funding its $18 billion, three-year share repurchase plan, which I believe will be more impactful to its bottom line than reinvested dividends.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.