It's no secret that big U.S. firms in stable -- or, should I say, slowing -- markets are setting their sights on overseas enterprises to capitalize on growth that's tougher to come by on these shores. That's why the likes of GM (NYSE:GM) and Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) are going to China.

And it's why Altria (NYSE:MO) announced today that it will be buying an Indonesian cigarette firm called Sampoerna. The Phillip Morris International (PMI) division of Altria will be buying 40% of the Indonesian firm from major holders and offering a 20% premium on the rest of the shares, bringing the total purchase price into the range of $5.2 billion.

That may seem rich to those of you familiar with the usual enterprise value-to-sales ratios of better-known tobacco companies. For what it's worth, stateside, you have to go to a more diversified UST (NYSE:UST) to find a tobacco company trading at five times sales.

Altria's purchase price undoubtedly takes into account the estimated 36% operating margins that it says the firm produced last year, a figure that's double the mark achieved by Altria as a whole, not to mention Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI), which clocks in at 13%. It's still below the 50%-ish operating margins that UST's been putting up, but Altria will be getting more than just a new foreign earnings stream. It will get access to an experienced and entrenched national brand in a part of the world where both populations and tobacco consumption are actually growing.

As our Foolish dividend hound Mathew Emmert is fond of reminding us, serial payers like Altria can make patient investors rich. Sometimes it takes a while, and sometimes -- as over the past year -- you can get a lot more bang for your buck. While Altria isn't the bargain it was a few months back, strategic moves like this one, and a 4.5% dividend yield, provide plenty of reasons for long-term investors to hold, if not continue to buy.

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Seth Jayson quit smoking sometime after his longhair stage. At the time of publication, he had positions in no company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.