At a Glance
Good pay and excellent benefits.
Numerous training opportunities.
Lots of process and procedures hamper creativity.
The company makes a product that is widely acknowledged to cause health problems.
Altria Group knows it must offer excellent compensation packages to attract the best talent to a controversial industry, and it does just that.
About Altria Group, Inc.
Altria Group is a Fortune 200 company that owns several of the largest cigarette companies in the US, including Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, and John Middleton. The company's tobacco brands include Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild. Altria also owns Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, one of the country's top wine producers, and Philip Morris Capital Corporation, an investment company. Altria’s stated mission is "to own and develop financially disciplined businesses that are leaders in responsibly providing adult tobacco and wine consumers with superior branded products."
Substantially all of Altria Group's sales are generated in the US.
Altria Group's total shareholder return for the five years ending December 31, 2013 was 244.7 percent, outperforming the S&P 500's return of 128 percent over the same period. The company has increased its dividend 47 times in the last 45 years, and has increased its profitability primarily by its tobacco operating companies focusing on four strong premium brands: Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild.*
*The company's dividends are declared and approved only at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
Increased public awareness of health-related issues, as well as an ever more stringent regulatory environment have combined to change the nature of the marketplace that Altria is operating in, compare to recent decades. Accordingly, the firm's long-term strategy places a premium on items such as cost-control and product innovation as it seeks to provide value for shareholders. According to documentation from the firm, its "strategies for long-term growth" include:
"Investing behind the strong premium brands of our operating companies."
"Driving product innovation through internal efforts and by working with third parties to develop innovative smokeless product alternatives for adult tobacco consumers."
"Managing cost structures."
"Maintaining a strong balance sheet."
"Returning cash to shareholders, primarily through dividends (which are paid at the discretion of the Board of Directors); and
"Complying with FDA regulations and engaging with the agency and other on policy approached to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use."
The firm is also involved in a number of lawsuits—it had around 90 cases pending as of October 2013—as well as hundreds of civil cases. Altria and its Big Tobacco rivals continue to try to resolve lawsuits over smoking-related illnesses, which account for the majority of cases pending against Philip Morris and Altria. The industry has reached settlements with US states amounting to nearly $250 billion, and a number of civil suits are pending.
6601 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23230-1723
Phone: 1 (804) 274-2200
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: MO
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman, President, and CEO: Martin J. Barrington
CFO: William F. Gifford
COO: Howard A. Willard
Employees (This Location): 1,400
Employees (All Locations): 7,300
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