Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Assessing Altria Group's Results For Q4 2018 (Includes Updated 2019 Dividend And Adjusted Diluted EPS Projections)

Feb. 06, 2019 7:40 AM ETAltria Group, Inc. (MO)BTI, BUD, CRON, PM, SBMRY, CRON:CA83 Comments


  • This article assesses MO’s performance for Q4 2018 and compares year-over-year results via three analyzes. First, this article analyzes MO’s quarterly income statement over the prior four years.
  • Second, along with an overview of MO’s product segments, this article provides a year-over-year quarterly shipment volume performance analysis.
  • This article also provides my thoughts and projected impacts on MO’s financial statements regarding the company’s recently acquired/proposed acquisition of JUUL and CRON.
  • Third, this article provides a unique analysis of MO’s adjusted diluted EPS and target dividend distributions payout ratio (includes updated 2019 quarterly dividend and adjusted diluted EPS projections).
  • My summarized thoughts on MO’s performance for Q4 2018, current price target, and buy, sell, or hold recommendation are stated in the “Conclusions Drawn” section of the article.

Focus of Article:

The focus of this article is to analyze Altria Group Inc.’s (NYSE:MO) results for the fourth quarter of 2018 and compare the company’s performance to prior periods. First, this article analyzes MO’s income statement (technically speaking the company’s “consolidated statement of earnings”) for the three months ended 12/31/2015, 12/31/2016, 12/31/2017, and 12/31/2018. Second, along with an overview of MO’s product segments, this article provides a quarterly shipment volume performance analysis for 2015-2018 (“year-over-year” comparison). This includes a brief discussion of MO’s recent measures taken regarding the company’s e-vapor/e-cigs products and trade inventory adjustments. In addition, this includes a discussion of MO’s recently acquired and proposed acquisition of Juice USB Lighting (“JUUL”) Labs and Cronos Group Inc. (CRON), respectively. This includes impacts regarding these two events regarding MO’s 2019 financial statements. Third, this article provides a unique analysis of MO’s historical/projected adjusted diluted earnings per share (“EPS”), dividend per share rates, and target dividend distributions payout ratio for 2018-2019. I will also provide a brief discussion on the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) and its impact on MO.

This assessment article will show past and projected data with supporting documentation within three tables. I am writing this article due to the continued requests to provide this type of analysis on MO after the company reports quarterly earnings. This assessment article alone is not the only data/information that should be examined to initiate a position within MO. However, I believe this analysis would be a good “starting point” to begin a discussion on the topic. My BUY, SELL, or HOLD recommendation and current price target for MO are stated in the “Conclusions Drawn” section at the end of the article.

1) Assessing MO’s Quarterly Consolidated Statement of Earnings:

To begin this analysis, Table 1 is

This article was written by

Scott Kennedy profile picture
Leader of The REIT Forum
Get exclusive articles. Never sent public.
Note: I am currently "teaming up" with Colorado Wealth Management to provide weekly CURRENT BV and NAV per share projections on all 20 mREIT and 15 BDC stocks I currently cover. These very informative (and “premium”) projections are provided through Colorado's S.A. Marketplace service, The REIT Forum. In addition, this includes additional data/analytics, continuous sector recommendations (including ranges), and exclusive mREIT and BDC "rapid fire" chat notes immediately after earnings (followed by subsequent earnings assessment articles).

Below are the stocks I currently cover (as of Spring 2023):


I cannot cover ABR or STWD in the mREIT sector due to indirect conflicts of interest.

Note: So, readers have continued to reach out and ask what I provide within Colorado Wealth Management’s Marketplace Service, the REIT Forum. I provide the following benefits vs. what I provide to the public:

1) Quarterly earning assessments of all 35 mREIT + BDC peers I cover. This includes rapid-fire "chat notes" the same day of earnings for each covered stock; followed by a detailed assessment article.

2) Subscribers can ask questions / engage in discussions with me daily via the REIT Forum chat feature (each weeknight and during the day on weekends). I answer all questions on the two sectors I cover. The REIT Forum’s chat feature takes precedence over my public responses and personal messages from non-subscribers.

3) Each week, I/we provide a “weekly recommendation” article (with tables for illustrative purposes) so readers can quickly find out which mREIT and BDC stocks have moved “in and out” of my BUY, SELL, or HOLD recommendation range. I believe this is highly valuable information that can lead to enhanced total returns or minimize an investor’s total losses.

4) For my mREIT articles, subscribers get “early looks” for all public articles I provide. This typically ranges from 1-3 days prior to public publication. For investors looking to “jump on” some of my ideas, prior to the general public being aware of such ideas, this is valuable.

5) Within the REIT Forum mREIT articles, subscribers are provided with one, or a combination of, the following benefits: a) additional tables; b) additional topics; and/or c) sector recommendation tables which are updated weekly using my CURRENT projected BVs for all 20 sector peers I cover. This includes access to sector “risk ratings”.

6) For my BDC articles, subscribers get “early looks” at all public articles I provide. This typically ranges from 1-3 days prior to public publication. For investors looking to “jump on” my ideas, prior to the general public being aware of such ideas, this is also valuable.

7) Within the REIT Forum BDC articles, subscribers are provided with one, or a combination of, the following benefits: a) additional tables; b) additional topics; and/or c) sector recommendation tables which are updated weekly using my CURRENT projected NAVs for all 15 sector peers I cover. This includes access to sector “risk ratings”.

8) I provide, for each BDC I cover, risk ratings on over 1500+ underlying portfolio companies. In addition, I provide monthly credit upgrades / downgrades on specific underlying portfolio companies. By having access to this valuable information, subscribers are provided “an edge” when it comes to assessing future BDC performance (which directly impacts stock price valuations).

9) I provide “real-time” chat messages regarding all purchase and sale decisions I make within my personal portfolio for the two sectors I cover. In the past, I have provided such disclosures, for free, via the StockTalks feature of S.A. (for transparency and credibility). However, since this provides additional value for subscribers, I “transitioned” these real-time disclosures to subscribers of the REIT Forum. I will continue to disclose publicly all stock purchase and sale decisions. However, they will only be within each applicable sector article which won’t be in real-time (could be a few days later or could be a few weeks until readers see what moves I made outside the REIT Forum).

I hope this provides some additional clarity on what I specifically provide to Colorado’s the REIT Forum Marketplace service.

Summer 2017 PRO Promotion Recipient

StockTalk Unrealized/Realized Gain "Success Rate" as of 2/29/2023 (63 Past and Present mREIT + BDC Positions): 86.2%

StockTalk Total Return "Success Rate" as of 5/31/2022: 92.3%

I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). I have also been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for 24 years. My current title is partner at a national accounting firm. I have audit, tax, and consulting experience with entities in the following sectors: closed-end funds, energy, financials, healthcare, homebuilders, pharmaceuticals, private equity, REITs, and telecoms. I also have experience with C-corps., estates, high net worth individuals, LLCs, LLPs, S-corps., and trusts. I am an active investor. My investing fundamentals are based on both qualitative and quantitative information. By using my financial / analytical skills, I create specific investing ideas / strategies based on valuations and total returns. The two main sectors I currently provide articles on are mortgage real estate investment trusts (mREITs) and business development companies (BDCs).

Disclaimer: I cannot own and will not give an opinion on any investments my current employer has any direct or indirect professional services with (accounting, audit, tax, consulting, etc.). As such, most large-cap stocks are "off the table" regarding my articles. All accounting insight, analysis, and opinions stated within any articles I write (in regards to a specified stock) are entirely from my own personal research and analysis. I believe my articles are both informative and in some cases educational.

Note: A growing number of readers/investors, analysts, and representatives of firms have requested to be provided with my "spreadsheets/models" to help better understand certain companies/sectors. My researched data is several files of 350+ spreadsheets/models containing both stocks I write about on S.A. and stocks I choose to not write about on S.A. To reduce the repeated requests to provide such data, these spreadsheets/models are ALL linked together. As such, all current and future requests to "share" my data/models will be politely declined. Thanks for your understanding regarding this matter.

I appreciate my loyal readers and I’ll continue to try to provide high quality, in-depth articles.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Question 1): If you are only paid per article, why make your articles so long / detailed?

- I like to provide the “nuts and bolts” of a company. As such, I strive for my articles to have some sort of “hard to obtain” facts / figures. From this data, I like to fully discuss / analyze specific topics within a particular stock. This mainly consists of a quarterly projection article and a series of articles on a company’s dividend sustainability. In certain instances, I also write articles in regards to specific, material events that occur during a quarter.

- I believe a company’s quarterly results and upcoming dividend declarations are two of the most important topics readers are requesting information on. My analysis takes the “average” article several steps further to allow readers to have access to information that is rare to public viewership.

Question 2): How come you only write 1-2 articles a week (would like to see more)?

- As stated in my profile above, I have a full-time professional career. I write / analyze stocks in my free time. To provide these types of high quality / in-depth articles, I can’t see writing more than 2 articles a week. I believe “quality” should always be a higher priority versus “quantity”.

- As many readers should know by now (if you’ve followed me for a while), I'm not here for the monetary rewards. If that was the case, I’d write 5+ weekly articles and provide little to no engagement in each article’s comment section. I believe the comments section is as important as the article themselves b/c readers have a wide range of questions in relation to each article or the sector in general.

Question 3): What do you personally gain from writing these articles?

- I am not here trying to promote a company, book, or website. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just not what I’m about. I’m here for the “average Joe”.

- When I decided to write these articles, I based it on the notion I am filling a “special niche” per se. Using skills that have been built up over my professional career, my articles usually provide unique information that most writers either a) don’t have the technical expertise to provide or b) don’t bother providing due to the time it takes to compile such data. As such, I believe the S.A. community benefits from my articles. I solely do this b/c it’s a passion of mine and I like helping readers have accurate, reliable data that is not readily available. Yes, I understand this may seem “hard to believe” in this day and age.

Question 4): How come you do not write about more stocks?

- To give readers the level of detail that I provide in my articles, I amass large amounts of data every quarter (or even weekly). As a direct result, a large amount of time is consumed by obtaining / analyzing this data.

- If I expanded the stocks I research, it would most likely take away the quality of other articles I currently am writing about. Again, this gets back to the “quality vs. quantity” metric.

- There is a fairly large range of stocks / investment vehicles I cannot write about / provide an opinion on due to various conflicts of interests (regarding my professional career). This is a topic I take VERY seriously.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long MO, CRON. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

I currently have no position in BTI, BUD, or PM.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.