Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Purchase: Philip Morris International (PM)

Philip Morris International (PM) is the largest publicly traded manufacturer and marketer of tobacco products. In 2008 it spun off from Altria and got it’s own stock notation. PM produces and distributes well known brands like Marlboro, L&M, Chesterfield and Philip Morris. Markets are global and diverse; it sells almost everywhere except the USA. The USA-market is controlled by Altria. This provides a big advantage for PM as the tobacco market in USA is slowly declining, whereas there are more opportunities for new markets worldwide.

Dividend policy
PM is not a dividend challenger, contender or champion as defined by David Fish (see here) but this is only because it started in 2008. Since 2008 dividend has grown 13% compounded per year. Payout ratio was 62% in 2012 which is reasonable. It also has a share buy-back program. Until the end of 2012 PM spent $27.9 billion to repurchase shares (about 23.2% of shares outstanding). For the next 3 years a new program has begun (about $18 billion) to repurchase shares and this roughly equates to another 12% of the shares outstanding (based on $90 per share on a float of 1.63B). To finalize this section; the current yield is 3.90% which is lower than the 5-year average yield of 4.40%.

Obviously there are risks with a stock like PM. Government policies can and will be stricter in the future. Think of non-smoking areas in bars, public places, etc, but also the new packages in some countries. New products like e-cigarettes could provide new markets to companies like PM. But there are at least two arguments why cigarettes are here to stay: 1) it’s addicting properties makes sure people are coming back and 2) governments “earn” a lot of money through taxes and duties. A lot has to happen for both people and governments to quit smoking or prohibit it at all.

In this section I’ll use a few methods to value PM.

Average PE-valuation of current year
Current PE-ratio is around 16.8x. At the 52-week low price it was 15.8x and at the 52-week high price it was 18.6x. The average price of both numbers lead to $90.

Average PE-valuation of last 5 year
Current PE-ratio is around 16.8x. Historical 5-year PE-ratio is 15.5x which gives a valuation of $80.

Average yield of last 5 year
Current yield is 3.9%. Historical 5-year yield is 4.4% which gives a valuation of $80.

Discounted Cash Flow-valuation
Using the following assumptions I arrive at a fair price of about $104.
  • Dividend growth rate of 12% per year for 5 years, and a perpetual DGR of 5% thereafter.
  • Earnings growth of 11% for the next 5 years (source: Yahoo Finance) and 6% perpetual growth thereafter.
  • Discount rate of 10%.

The average price valuation of these 4 methods is $88-89 so it seems at the current price of $87.5 PM is fairly valued.

PM is a so-called sin-stock. From the perspective of a share-holder however, it certainly is not! It’s dividend policy is share-holder friendly and it’s a relatively stable business. People keep smoking, whether times are good or bad. This week I bought a block of shares PM at $87.5 with a yield of 3.90%. This purchase adds almost $60 to my forward yearly dividend which stands at $163 after this purchase.


  1. I picked up some PM last month as well. Seems like we're on the same wavelength with both of us also recently adding some WMT and XOM as well. I really like PM, especially when compared to the US only companies. There's plenty of room for growth. When I went through my analysis on PM I found an interesting statistic about China. Over 2.1 trillion, that's a t not a b or m, cigarettes are smoked there each year. A 15% market share there would be equivalent to a United States. Crazy! I added at pretty much the same price as you and while I don't think it was a steal it was still a fair price for what I feel is high quality.

    1. I totally agree! I read the same statistic somewhere. Even though it will be quite hard to archieve such a marketshare in China, it still provides a lot of room for growth. Good luck with your purchase ;)