Tobacco stocks are in favor right now because they are recession-proof businesses with reliable revenue streams. In a high-stress environment with a poor job picture and rampant home foreclosures, simple pleasures like a burger, cigarette or a beer are more important than ever — even if they aren’t the healthiest choices in the world. What’s more, the addictive nature of cigarettes means it’s impossible for sales to just evaporate overnight. That kind of stability is very important in a volatile stock market.
I watch more than 5,000 publicly traded companies with my Portfolio Grader tool, ranking companies by a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. This week, I’ve got seven smoking hot tobacco stocks.
Here they are, in alphabetical order. Each one of these stocks gets an “A” or “B” according to my research, meaning it is a “strong buy” or “buy.”
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) manufactures and sells cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. Like other tobacco stocks, MO has gained 18% since the start of 2011.
British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) is best known for its product lines of Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall. Year-to-date, BTI stock has gained nearly 21%.
Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) is best known for its Newport line of menthol cigarettes. Like many of its major competitors, LO stock has gained 36% since the beginning of 2011.
Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) is one of the largest tobacco companies in the world, selling its products in more than 180 countries. PMI stock has surged 31% since the start of 2011.
Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI) owns and operates R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. RAI stock is up more than 29% year-to-date.
Universal Corp. (NYSE:UVV) is an international leaf tobacco merchant and processor based in Virginia. UVV stock rounds has made a 16% gain year-to-date.
Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) owns the subsidiaries Liggett Group LLC and Vector Tobacco Inc. Rounding out the list, a gain of 10% for VGR stock year-to-date has shareholders pleased with their initial purchase.
Get more analysis of these picks and other publicly traded stocks with Louis Navellier’s Portfolio Grader tool, a 100% free stock-rating tool that measures both quantitative buying pressure and eight fundamental factors.