Is Philip Morris Still a Smoking Hot Stock?

With shares of Philip Morris International, Inc. (NYSE:PM) trading around $89.07, is PM an OUTPERFORM, a WAIT AND SEE, or a STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

E = Equity to Debt Ratio is… not Zero

Philip Morris currently has a a wonky debt-to-equity ratio that is pretty much off the charts. However, since it was spun off from Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), the company has averaged a debt-to-equity ratio of about 1.82. This average is not awful, but still compares unfavorably to its international competitor British American Tobacco plc (AMEX:BTI), which has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.57.

It’s also important to consider total cash on hand and total debt, which for Philip Morris is $4.82 billion in cash and $22.44 billion in debt. British American Tobacco has $2.88 billion in cash and $18.26 billion in debt, while Altria Group has $2.19 billion in cash and $13.88 billion in debt.

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong

The stock price was recently 1.52 percent above its 20-day simple moving average, or SMA; 0.10 percent above its 50-day SMA; and 2.24 percent its 200-day SMA.

Since the beginning of 2012 the stock price has been in a fairly pronounced upward trend, rising 16.60 percent this year-to-date and rising 22.32 percent year-over-year.

As a benchmark, the S&P 500 has risen 12.80 percent year-to-date, and has risen 13.01 percent year-over-year. Philip Morris’ stock performance beats the S&P and British American Tobacco, which gained 9.5 percent this year to date and 11.46 percent year over year — slightly lagging behind the S&P.