Owning Altria (MO): Cigarettes Sell

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With the market in bad shape and likely to get worse, investors are running in circles looking for something to buy? Well, tobacco takes a long time to go out of style. And, Altria (MO) sells more of it than any other company in the world.

Some investors don’t want to own shares in a tobacco company, and, that is their business.

Altria shares are flat over the last three months. But, the company has gotten rid of Kraft (KFT) which has troubles due to owning some food line that are not doing well and because of high commodity prices.

The big tobacco company made $6.5 billion in operating income during the first six months of the year on $36.4 billion in revenue. Of that revenue, $27.2 billion came from overseas, where people still smoke. Operating income from international sales was $4.4 billion.

The company has a 4% yield, and, as far as anyone can tell, does not own any mortgage related securities or private equity loans.

Douglas A. McIntyre