Philip Morris International (PM) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Philip Morris’ shares have outpaced the industry in the past month. The company is benefiting from advancement in RRPs arena, which was fuelled further when the FDA allowed the company to sell IQOS heating devices. Further, strong growth in heated tobacco units aided the company’s top line in the first quarter of 2019. Additionally, efficient pricing boosted performance in the first quarter, which is expected to be a key catalyst in the forthcoming periods. However, headwinds in the cigarette category are a concern. Markedly, revenues in the combustible unit declined year over year in the first quarter, while shipment volumes were flat. We note that stringent policies and fading consumer interests are weighing on cigarette sales. Further, management expects sales volumes in the unit to continue declining in 2019.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on PM. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $100.00 price target on shares of Philip Morris International and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 8th. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Philip Morris International in a report on Sunday, February 10th. UBS Group raised shares of Philip Morris International from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the stock from $86.00 to $101.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of Philip Morris International from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, March 15th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Philip Morris International from $90.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, March 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $92.57.

Shares of NYSE:PM opened at $84.64 on Thursday. Philip Morris International has a 12-month low of $64.67 and a 12-month high of $92.74. The company has a market cap of $131.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.93.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.10. Philip Morris International had a net margin of 9.74% and a negative return on equity of 78.74%. The firm had revenue of $6.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.76 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.00 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that Philip Morris International will post 5.16 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Mario Masseroli sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.32, for a total value of $101,184.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Louis C. Camilleri sold 70,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.54, for a total transaction of $5,847,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PM. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in shares of Philip Morris International by 1.3% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 118,890,424 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,694,325,000 after acquiring an additional 1,516,211 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Philip Morris International by 0.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 95,952,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,481,257,000 after acquiring an additional 902,937 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Philip Morris International by 29.1% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 29,487,644 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,606,413,000 after acquiring an additional 6,642,051 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of Philip Morris International by 6.7% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 24,253,246 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,143,744,000 after acquiring an additional 1,519,662 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Philip Morris International by 22.3% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 22,902,599 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,021,601,000 after acquiring an additional 4,178,012 shares during the last quarter. 72.87% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Philip Morris International

Philip Morris International Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, other nicotine-containing products, and smoke-free products and related electronic devices and accessories. The company offers IQOS smoke-free products, including heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapor products under the HEETS, HEETS Marlboro, and HEETS FROM MARLBORO brands, as well as the Marlboro HeatSticks and Parliament HeatSticks brands.

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