How Much Will Altria Group Pay in Dividends This Year?

Cigarette smoking has been in decline for decades, but that hasn’t stopped Altria Group (NYSE: MO) from making heaps of dividend payments to satisfied shareholders. The company behind the leading Marlboro brand raised its quarterly payout 58 times over the past 54 years.

In 2023, Altria distributed about $6.8 billion worth of dividend payments. The stock offers investors a quarterly payout of $0.98 per share. At its recent closing price of around $42 per share, investors will receive an ultra-high 9.3% yield even if the company doesn’t raise its payout.

Altria Group usually announces quarterly payout raises in August. It’s still too early to know exactly how much the company will distribute in 2024, but we can certainly expect its 54-year streak to continue.

How Altria could keep raising its dividend payout

People aren’t sparking up cigarettes as often as they used to, but nicotine consumption in the U.S. is still trending upward at roughly the pace of population growth. Altria’s first attempt to transition smokers to e-vapor devices hit a major roadblock in 2020 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned flavored e-cigarettes.

Despite selling 9.9% fewer cigarettes, the company reported total revenue, net of excise taxes, that fell by just 0.9% last year. By controlling costs and repurchasing shares, Altria was able to raise adjusted earnings by 2.3% in 2023.

Altria’s stock price has been under pressure because the company’s losing market share to Elf Bar and other illicit e-vapor products. The competitive threat isn’t going away, but it could begin to subside. Increasing enforcement of the flavor ban, plus the recent launch of its new e-cigarette brand NJOY, will more than likely help total sales return to growth.

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Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

How Much Will Altria Group Pay in Dividends This Year? was originally published by The Motley Fool

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