As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM). The cigarette giant had a hot 2012 as its international focus helped it avoid some of the headwinds that domestic tobacco makers suffered, but can the good times last into the new year? Below, learn more about Philip Morris International's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Philip Morris International

Average Stock Target Price


Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate


Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate


Forward P/E


Source: Yahoo Finance.

Can Philip Morris International keep smoking in 2013?
After a nice gain in 2012, analysts think that Philip Morris can keep moving higher this year. Given the average price target for the stock, Philip Morris could see gains of around 15% from current levels. A good chunk of those gains are seen coming from earnings growth, as experts expect a bigger push ahead for the company's revenue in 2013 than it saw in 2012.

The advantages that Philip Morris has over domestic tobacco-makers Lorillard (NYSE:LO.DL) and Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) aren't going to go away. Combining the power of the world-renowned Marlboro brand with the amazing growth potential from overseas markets, especially in emerging-market economies, Philip Morris arguably got the more attractive half of the business when Altria (NYSE:MO) spun it off several years ago.

But concerns abound about the impact Australia's cigarette-packaging policy could have on the company. Although Australia isn't a huge market for Philip Morris, more substantial problems could come if other countries implement similar measures against tobacco companies. Moreover, Russia is looking less attractive to Philip Morris as it places ad restrictions and bans of its own.

Still, Philip Morris pays a lucrative and growing dividend, and it doesn't even have the high payout ratios that sector peers like Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) have sported. That opens the door to more dividend hikes in the future, but lately, Philip Morris has preferred using buybacks instead, with two buyback programs totaling $30 billion having been authorized since early 2010.

Philip Morris has plenty of potential to keep rising in 2013, especially if economic conditions in emerging markets cooperate. Despite the risks, Philip Morris deserves consideration if you're interested in high-yielding dividend stocks with growth potential. 

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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.