Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) Ploughs Ahead In spite Of Regulatory Challenges


Dallas, Texas 03/07/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), the large capped cigarette maker continued to pour a major part of its income back into the hands of its share holders, in spite of stricter regulatory regime in its operating markets coupled with a slow switch of its traditional customers to more healthier option of e-cigarettes due to mounting heath concerns around smoking.

Healthy Dividend Payout

In the last week of February, the board of directors of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) led by Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer Martin J. Barrington    declared a quarterly dividend of 48 cents per common share, which will get paid out on 10th April to all share holders on company record as of 14th March. The stock is expected to go ex dividend on 12th March. Before the current quarter payout, the firm had paid out $1.92 per share as dividend till date for the year. This translates to a healthy annual dividend yield of 5.2 percent, which represents the average higher side of earnings that U.S corporates have paid their share holders in 2013.

Aimed At Stopping Young Adults and Under Age Smoking

The move to pay back customers comes on the back of renewed tightening of European Union regulations around the advertisement and sale of cigarettes. The new rules which were spelled out on 26th February mandate cigarette firms like Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) to include larger font and more legible warnings on the packaging and has brought in a outright ban on the flavouring of Tobacco. These changes in law have been brought in to stop young adults and under age kids to be attracted to cigarettes.

Expressing her happiness at the adoption of these tougher measures Linda McAvan, a EU parliament member who represents U.K. has been quoted to have said that,  “The new measures are a big step forward for tobacco control and will help to prevent the next generation of smokers from being recruited.”

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