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Monday, October 1, 2012

Big Tobacco: Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, Husky, and Marlboro Snus brands; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and pipe tobacco.



The company also produces and sells blended table wines under the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest names; and distributes Antinori and Villa Maria Estate wines, and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte in the United States. In addition, it maintains a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases in rail and surface transport, aircraft, electric power, real estate, and manufacturing.

The company sells its tobacco products primarily to wholesalers, including distributors; large retail organizations, such as chain stores; and the armed services. Altria Group, Inc. markets its wine products to restaurants, wholesale clubs, supermarkets, wine shops, and mass merchandisers. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

The tobacco sector also has some of the highest average operating margins. The good thing is the fact Altria Group, Inc. has demonstrated a solid 42.23% operating margin over the last 12 months, but the bad thing is the fact that MO's operating margin only ranks third among the group.

In terms of the other three companies the numbers are all very good. Lorillard, Inc. is the leader of the pack, considering the fact the company demonstrated an operating margin of 44.52%, and Philip Morris came in a close second by demonstrating an operating margin of 43.44%. It should be noted that Reynolds American placed last among the four companies featured simply because the company had only managed to demonstrate an operating margin of 32.92%.

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