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Altria Group Vs Two companies with good long term growth potential are going to be examined in detail and pitted against each other in the hopes of finding a champion. At the end of the article we will offer our opinion as to which one we think is better. The two companies in question are Altria Group (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris (NYSE:PM). Altria's brand building initiatives on popular brands such as Marlboro Eighty Threes, black and mild summer blend and Copenhagen Southern blend seem to be paying off. Gross profits in the 2nd quarter increased 26.5% to $2.5 billion when compared to the same period 1 year ago. Operating companies' income surged to $1.9 billion from $1.4 billion when compared to the same period 1 year ago. This represents an increase of 42.3%. The firm increased the quarterly dividend from $0.41 to $0.44, an increase of 7.3%. This payment is applicable to shareholders of record Sept 14 and is payable on the 10th of Oct. Reported and adjusted operating income for the financial services segment rose to $42 million, an increase of $15 million in the second quarter. Net revenue for the cigarette's segment rose by 0.8% year over year to $5.9 billion. Net revenue for the smokeless product segment rose to $426 million, an increase of 5.4% Net revenue in the wine segment increased to $128 million, a surge of 10.3% in the 2nd quarter. Volume of wines shipped increased by 2.1%, mainly driven by an increase in exports. Altria Group sports a great quarterly earnings growth rate of 175%, has increased dividends consecutively for 46 years and offers a pretty good yield of 5.10%. Reasons to consider Altria Group: A 3 5 year estimated EPS growth rate of 6.42 EBITDA increased from 6.3 billion in 2009 to $7.05 billion in 2011 Cash flow per share increase from $1.90 in 2009 to $2.18 in 2011 It has a strong levered free cash flow of $4.84 billion Zack's has a projected EPS of $2.21 and $2.38 for 2012 and 2013 respectively. Annual EPS before NRI increased 1.75 in 2009 to $2.75 in 2011 A 5 year dividend average of 8.00 A good yield of 5.10% Projected year over year growth rates of 7.6% and 7.67% for 2012 and 2013 respectively A great five year ROE average of 79.9% A good interest coverage ratio of 4.5 $100K invested for 10 years would have grown to 136K for an annualized ROR of 4% Charts and data of interest for Altria Group Philip Morris reaffirmed its 2012 diluted earnings per share forecast will fall in the $5.10 $5.20 range, versus $4.85 in 2011. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were up 8.3% to $2.61, versus $2.41 in 2011 for the same period and the adjusted second quarter earnings of $1.36 per share beat the Zack's consensus estimate of $1.34. It repurchased 17.8 million shares of common stock for a total of $1.5 billion in the 2nd quarter, and it announced a new three year repurchase program of $18 billion that will begin in August, 2012. Additional reasons to consider Philip Morris: A strong relative strength score of 86 out of a possible 100. Relative strength refers to a stock's price change over a period of time relative to that of a market index such as the S 500. Scores are assigned on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best score.