Things look to be sparking up for one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, Altria (NYSE:MO).
On Thursday, the company best known for its popular Marlboro brand cigarettes, reported solid third-quarter results. The upbeat report caused the stock to spike, pushing shares close to their recent all-time high of $28.14.
Despite the climb, the stock still looks to be an attractive investment opportunity with plenty of upside potential. And as one of the highest dividend paying stocks on the S&P 500 – with an attractive 6% yield – Altria could help stoke your investment portfolio.
Helping buoy the company is its stronghold in the so-called sin industry. Not only does Altria sell Marlboro – which accounts for 42% of all cigarette sales in the U.S –, but it’s also the parent company to five tobacco divisions, selling brands like Virginia Slims, Parliament and Basic.
Additionally, Altria owns a wine business and holds nearly a 30% stake in one of the world’s largest beer brewers, SABMiller.
But what’s really keeping the company ablaze is its focus in the increasingly popular smokeless tobacco business. Altria makes the flagship Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, Husky, and Black & Mild brands.
In place of increasingly stigmatized cigarettes, rising sales of smokeless tobacco products are boosting the company’s technical outlook.
As the chart below shows, the stock has been on a major uptrend for the past two years, nearly doubling from a low near $15.90 to its current level, around $28.
In May, the stock stalled after encountering resistance around $27. By early August, shares tumbled to a low of $22.84, but quickly recovered, forming an accelerated uptrend line.