Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Philip Morris’s has outperformed the industry in the past three months. The company is gaining from strong pricing strategies. In fact, favorable pricing has played an important role in boosting revenues for a while. Also, this drove the company’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2018, wherein it delivered the third and the fourth straight quarter of top- and bottom-line surprises, respectively. The company is also undertaking initiatives to strengthen RRPs, which are rapidly gaining market popularity. It has introduced new versions of IQOS to capture market share. Additionally, the company provided favorable view for 2019.  However, Philip Morris is grappling with declines in total shipment volumes, stemming from weak cigarette sales. Stringent regulations on tobacco products have been marring cigarette industry volumes. Moreover, unfavorable currency movements are a viable threat.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on PM. Citigroup lifted their price target on Philip Morris International from $90.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 25th. ValuEngine raised Philip Morris International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 15th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Philip Morris International in a research report on Tuesday, March 26th. UBS Group raised Philip Morris International from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $86.00 to $101.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered Philip Morris International from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $92.00 to $74.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $91.43.

PM opened at $85.84 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $133.55 billion, a PE ratio of 16.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.95. Philip Morris International has a 1 year low of $64.67 and a 1 year high of $103.55.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The company reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $7.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.46 billion. Philip Morris International had a negative return on equity of 76.82% and a net margin of 9.90%. Philip Morris International’s quarterly revenue was down 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.32 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Philip Morris International will post 5.33 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Philip Morris International news, CEO Andre Calantzopoulos sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.76, for a total value of $4,238,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 844,901 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $71,613,808.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PM. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Philip Morris International during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Philip Morris International by 552.8% in the 4th quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 470 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 398 shares during the period. Clean Yield Group bought a new position in Philip Morris International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $37,000. Claybrook Capital LLC bought a new position in Philip Morris International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $39,000. Finally, Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Philip Morris International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $40,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.53% of the company’s stock.

Philip Morris International Company Profile

Philip Morris International Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, other nicotine-containing products, and smoke-free products and related electronic devices and accessories. The company offers IQOS smoke-free products, including heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapor products under the HEETS, HEETS Marlboro, and HEETS FROM MARLBORO brands, as well as the Marlboro HeatSticks and Parliament HeatSticks brands.

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Analyst Recommendations for Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM)

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