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Philip Morris International Inc. (PM)’s Richest Investors Are Addicted

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Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) operates in an industry that will likely last forever. In good economic times, people can afford smokes. In poor times, people will cut back on other areas, but will still suck down that tobacco like it’s candy. For non-smokers, a bad addiction, for investors, a welcome aspect of any business. So is it any surprise that the smart money is bullish?

At the moment, there are dozens of methods shareholders can use to watch publicly traded companies. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can outclass the broader indices by a significant amount (see just how much).

Just as necessary, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to analyze the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of incentives for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

What’s more, it’s important to analyze the recent info surrounding Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM).

How have hedgies been trading Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 55 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 12% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM)Out of the hedge funds we follow, Gardner Russo & Gardner, managed by Tom Russo, holds the largest position in Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM). Gardner Russo & Gardner has a $796.2 million position in the stock, comprising 9.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Harris Associates, managed by Natixis Global Asset Management, which held a $523.4 million position; 1.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other peers with similar optimism include Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, Peter Rathjens Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management.

Consequently, certain money managers were breaking ground themselves. Gardner Russo & Gardner, managed by Tom Russo, created the biggest position in Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM). Gardner Russo & Gardner had 796.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management also initiated a $510.3 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Peter Rathjens Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM)?

Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) has seen 2 unique insiders purchasing, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also examine the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM). These stocks are Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR), Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI), Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), and British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI). All of these stocks are in the cigarettes industry and their market caps are closest to PM’s market cap.

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