This was a very good question. So good, I decided to write a short post about it.
If you look at a place like Yahoo Finance, or Google Finance, you can see that Altria has a P/E ratio of 11. So this means that this amazing company is cheap, doesn’t it?
Source: Yahoo Finance
Source: Google Finance
Well, not so fast. As part of our evaluation of company fundamentals, we review trends in earnings per share, dividends per share, revenues and payout ratios over the past decade. A quick review of the ten year trends in earnings per share shows a bump in 2016. The curious dividend investor would then search for the driver behind the discrepancy.