Cigarette Stock Lights Up on JPMorgan Bull Note

In the last nine months, PM has added over 23%

Digital Content Manager
Apr 9, 2021 at 10:55 AM
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The shares of Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) are up 1.1% to trade at $90.39 at last check, after the cigarette and tobacco name earned an upgrade from JPMorgan Securities to "overweight" from "neutral," as well as a price-target hike to $105 from $81. The analyst in question said Philip Morris is a "clear leader" in heated tobacco products and profits will accelerate in the near future. 

Digging deeper, the security is just weeks off its March 18, two-year high of $91.25, which it reached with support from the 40-day moving average. This trendline has also contained the stock's latest pullback to the $87 level, and today's pop is helping shares to make another attempt at overcoming pressure at the $90 mark. In the last nine months, Philips Morris International stock has added 23.5%.

Analysts were relatively split towards PM coming into today, with seven of the 13 in coverage sporting a "buy" or better rating, while six called it a tepid  "hold." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $99.58 is a 10.5% premium to the stock's current perch.  

The options pits are firmly in the bullish camp, with an appetite for calls. This is per PM's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 5.71 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands in the 90th percentile of the past 12 months. In other words, long calls are being at a quicker-than-usual pace.

What's more, PM options can be acquired for a bargain at the moment. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 16% stands at the lowest possible percentile of its annual range, indicating Philips Morris International stock sports affordably priced premiums right now.

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