Cigarette stocks have been smoking hot this past year. Shares of Lorillard, Reynolds American and Altria are up 27, 37 and 31 percent, respectively, in the last 12 months, with Lorillard and Reynolds American both currently trading at all-time highs. But there's one name that's missed out on the rally: Philip Morris, up a mere 1 percent in the same period. And one trader is betting that the stock is about to catch up in a big way.
According to Seaburg, Philip Morris now "is the perfect stock to buy." And he has three main reasons to support his call: improved volume trends, increased profitability and currency headwinds.
"In the last two years we saw big declines in volume, but this year we are starting to see that ease a bit," said Seaburg. "Philip Morris is the premiere brand, and I think it will be the major beneficiary of this reverse in trend."
Additionally, Seaburg noted that Philip Morris' projected profit growth for 2015 is the highest in three years. "Overall, Philip Morris profit growth seems to be moving to the upside," he said. "As Marlboro looks to be strong across the board and will help them move the needle." To note, Philip Morris sells Marlboro brands outside of the United States, as Altria sells Marlboro within the United States.
Lastly, Seaburg noted that as the U.S. dollar continues to fall under pressure, Philip Morris should benefit.
"This is a real momentum story," said Seaburg. "I think Philip Morris is going to $100 a share." That's roughly 16 percent higher than current levels.
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