On March 1, 2018, Altria Group (MO) announced dividends of $0.70 per share to be paid on April 10, 2018, to shareholders of record as of March 15, 2018. The dividends represent an increase of 6.1% from $0.66 paid in the previous quarter. The company has announced dividends at a payout rate of 69.8% and a dividend yield of 4.4%, given the stock price of the company at $63.81 as of March 15, 2018.
Altria also rewards its shareholders with share repurchases, which reduce the number of shares outstanding, thus boosting the company’s EPS (earnings per share). In 2017, the company repurchased 41.6 million shares for $3 billion. Since the beginning of 2018, it has repurchased $18 million of shares. The company’s management also authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program in January 2018, which is expected to be completed in 2018.
On March 8, 2018, Philip Morris International (PM) announced dividends of $1.07 to be paid on April 11, 2018, to shareholders of record as of March 22, 2018. It announced dividends at a payout ratio of 81.2% and at a dividend yield of 4.1%, given the stock price of $104.99 as of March 15, 2018. The company didn’t repurchase any shares in 2017 and doesn’t intend to repurchase any shares in 2018.
Next, we’ll look at the valuation multiples of Philip Morris and Altria.