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Take the Risks With These 7 ‘Sin Stocks’ That Sizzle

Sin isn't going out of style anytime soon, and neither are these sin winners

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Sin Stocks That Sizzle: Altria (MO)

ThAltria (NYSE:MO)e world’s biggest tobacco company, manufacturer of Marlboros, and parent company of Philip Morris USA (PM) saw fourth-quarter profit jump 32% after boosting prices for Marlboro cigarettes. Net income rose to $1.1 billion from $836 million a year earlier.

Altria (MO) tends to dominate its market segments. One global market research agency estimates the world market value of the Marlboro brand at $67.5 billion, behind only Cola-Cola (KO) and AT&T (T). Altria’s cigarette segment commands 50% of the U.S. market.

Total market penetration for Marlboro alone is 42%, while Altria’s lesser-known brands – Merit, Virginia Slims, Parliament, and Benson & Hedges – make up the remainder. Despite experiencing a continued drop in domestic consumption, and despite higher “sin” taxes, Altria’s stock price has managed to increase six-fold since early 2000. It also generates a healthy 5.2% dividend.

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