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Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) stock dipped slightly in pre-market trading today (Thursday) on slowing third-quarter sales.
In its earnings release before the bell today, the tobacco giant announced a 0.9% drop in revenue from the third quarter last year. It also had a 4.2% drop in earnings per share (EPS).
Despite this sales slump, PM still beat analysts' expectations. The company's $1.38 EPS beat Wall Street's $1.33 estimate. Its $7.9 billion reported revenue figure edged out a $7.6 billion prediction.
Sales fell on lower cigarette shipments to Asia.
A strengthening U.S. dollar also blunted sales growth. Multinational companies like PM face reduced sales when the dollar strengthens because their goods become more expensive abroad.
PM's flagging sales growth has been met with an equally disappointing growth in its stock.
Shares barely budged over the course of the third quarter, trading up only $0.07 to $83.40.
It also hasn't turned in a very impressive 2014 either. As of yesterday's (Wednesday) close, PM stock traded down 0.8% on the year, from $84.23 a share to $83.58.
Despite the anemic returns, PM is still a good long-term stock to buy and can help you generate massive profits.
Philip Morris's Profit Potential (NYSE: PM)
PM stock is currently trading around $83. Analysts at Morningstar value the stock at $90.
There is room for PM's stock to grow, and there is reason to believe that it is currently trading below its actual value.
However, the main allure of PM stock is not its potential for growth.
For PM, it's all in the dividends.
PM is not unlike its parent company, Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), which Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald called a "real gem." In 45 years, MO has hiked dividends 48 times. Savvy investors who reinvested dividends back into the company saw their returns multiplied through long-term compounding.