NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2012) - The Tobacco Industry has been known to hold some of the strongest dividends in the market. The average dividend yield of Altria Group, Reynolds American, Lorillard, and Phillip Morris International is approximately 5.0 percent, more than double the S&P 500's average dividend yield of 2.2 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Cigarettes Industry and provides equity research on Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) and Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM).
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Tobacco companies received a boost earlier this week after UBS Investment Research Nik Modi upgraded Altria's rating from "neutral" to "buy." Wells Fargo & Co. analyst Bonnie Herzog has recently predicted that the industry would see a second round of prices increases in 2012. In 2011, Altria Group, Reynolds American and Lorillard raised prices in July and December. Price increases are key for tobacco companies as it helps them generate more cash, which they return to investors in the form of dividend payouts and stock repurchase plans.
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The brand portfolios of Altria's tobacco operating companies include such well-known names as Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $1.76 per share for a yield of roughly 5.4 percent. Shares of Altria have gained nearly 10 percent year-to-date.
Philip Morris International is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world's top 15 international brands. In 2011, the company held an estimated 16.0 percent share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S. Phillip Morris currently offers investors an annual dividend of $3.40 for a yield of roughly 3.9 percent.
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