Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) is the ultimate value stock. After releasing Q3 earnings results in late October, the tobacco giant increased its already-hefty dividend by 5.7%. A few weeks later, company leadership authorized a massive $2.5 billion stock buyback program to be carried out over the next two-and-a-half years. And signs are pointing to tremendous Q4 operating results when the company releases earnings on Jan. 30.
Analysts currently expect the company to grow earnings by 15%, a significantly higher rate than the 9.9% forecast for the rest of the tobacco industry. Also, in the past month, analysts have revised their earnings estimates 3% higher, whereas they have decreased their earnings estimates for many of its competitors — analyst earnings revisions like this typically precede earnings surprises.