Altria (MO): The Big Picture
Company Overview

Initially known as Philip Morris and rebranded in 2003, Altria is a U.S.-based holding company with origins dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. $MO

Al-tree-uh. Ale-trey-uh. All-tray-uh. It’s a name so marvelously unassuming you can tell a consulting firm thought it up.

In 2007, Altria spun off its majority stake in Kraft Foods to shareholders. That same year, it began to divest its stake in Philip Morris International (which was finalized in March 2008). Currently, the company trades on the NYSE under $MO and oversees a leading portfolio of products for adult consumers in the U.S. market, all of which are manufactured and marketed by subsidiaries, including:

  • Philip Morris USA Inc. ("PM USA"), the maker of Marlboro cigarettes

  • U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC ("USSTC"), the maker of Copenhagen and Skoal moist smokeless tobacco products

  • John Middleton Co. ("JMC"), the maker of Black & Mild cigars

  • Helix Innovations LLC ("Helix"), the maker of on! oral nicotine pouches

The company also holds investments in:
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV ("ABI"), the world's largest brewer

(9.96%, Public, NYSE: BUD) 197,457,354 shares

  • JUUL Labs, Inc. ("JUUL"), the nation's leading e-vapor company (35%, Private)

  • Cronos Group Inc. ("Cronos"), a leading global cannabinoid company

(42%, Public, TSX:CRON, NASDAQ: CRON) 156,573,537 million shares

Additionally, on May 13, 2022, Altria announced a definitive agreement to purchase substantially all assets and properties of Poda Holdings, a Canadian company focused on heated tobacco product (HTP) technologies.

While the core business is in secular decline, operations as a whole are incredibly capital-light, allowing the company to prioritize returning capital to shareholders. The company has a long history of buying back shares while targeting an 80% payout ratio of adjusted diluted EPS and has increased and paid a dividend for more than fifty consecutive years. As of December 31, 2021, the credit ratings and outlook for Altria were the following:

Source: Altria 2021 10-K, (unchanged)

Read the full report below.


This publication’s content is for entertainment and educational purposes only. I am not a licensed investment professional. Nothing produced under the Invariant brand should be thought of as investment advice. Do your own research. All content is subject to interpretation.

Joey Hirendernath's avatar
Wow this is a long report, thanks for sharing Devin, I will read this tomorrow :)

Also, it seems like you might be new to Commonstock, so welcome!
Devin LaSarre's avatar
@joeyhirendernath Decided to join after having a great chat with @investmenttalk
Reasonable Yield's avatar
Saw @peekbtn talking about $MO recently, they might enjoy this. Love to see more names like this being mentioned here!
Young Money Capital's avatar
Glad you joined the platform!
Devin LaSarre's avatar
@youngmoneycapital Thanks! Looking forward to adding to the discussion.
Dividend Dollars's avatar
Love me some $MO! I added to them today actually, thanks for the report
Conor Mac's avatar
@dividenddollars came here to tag you, but you found it already :)
Derek's avatar
Subscribed, that is an excellent write up. Fair play to you.
Devin LaSarre's avatar
@emf Glad you found it valuable Derek!