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A Strong Quarter For This Dividend Champ Altria (NYSE:MO) has to be one of the more consistent companies out there. Quarter after quarter, the company manages to surprise its investors and even analysts by its strong fundamental performance despite the secular trends in smoking habits. This proved to be the case once again for Q1 2015. For the quarter, Altria posted EPS of $0.63 per share after items, up 10.5% from last year and beating estimates by a penny. This segment benefited from increased prices, increased volumes, and expanding market share. Net revenues after excise taxes grew 6.9% to $3.7 billion. In addition, adjusted operating company income "OCI" grew 10.1% to $1.7 billion, while adjusted OCI margins expanded 2.3% to 46.4%. Altria's key brand Marlboro saw its volumes increase 1.2% to 25.1 billion units, while discounted cigarette brands saw volumes increase 8.6% to 2.5 billion, offset by a 3.1% decline in other premium brands to 1.6 billion units. Total cigarette volumes grew by 1.6% to 29.2 billion units. Altria's cigar business saw 10.2% higher volumes to 302 million units, led by a 10.4% increase in Black Mild. Total smokable products volumes grew to 29.5 billion, up 1.6%. Smokeless OCI were up 5.0% to $251 million. OCI margins expanded by 1% to 63.1%. These numbers were due to higher prices and higher volumes, which grew 2.7% to 191.1 units, offset by higher promotional spending. Adjusted OCI came in at $27 million, up 22.7%%, while OCI margins were up 3.2% to 20.9%. This growth came mostly from volume growth and cost cutting, with total wine volumes increasing 0.5% to 1.7 million cases. Guidance, buyback, and dividend growth estimateAltria also reaffirmed its guidance for full year 2015. The company is expecting adjusted diluted EPS to range from $2.75 to $2.80, up 7% to 9% from $2.57 in 2014. This assumes a 35% tax rate. During the quarter, Altria repurchased 3.6 million shares at an average price of $53.03 for $192 million. This should last it through the end of 2015. As for dividends, given the pace of EPS growth and the reaffirmed guidance, Altria is very likely to reward its shareholders with yet another dividend increase in 2015. As for the size of the increase, Altria tends to target a dividend payout ratio of 80% of its adjusted diluted EPS. As noted above, the 2015 guidance calls for $2.75 to $2.80 in EPS. This comes out to $2.20 to $2.24 per share, up 6% to 8% compared to the current dividend of $2.08 per share. Keep in mind that Altria usually increases its dividend in Q3. ConclusionOverall, Altria had a splendid quarter. Earnings and revenues beat, volumes saw surprising growth, and margins once again improved. The company has several potential upside catalysts which include the MarkTen e cigarette, which is still in its early phases, and Altria's 27% stake in SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY), which is an underappreciated asset and a possible buyout target. Furthermore, Altria's dividend yield of 4% is more than compelling, especially as it should post solid dividend growth this year. Altria is clearly running on all cylinders and is a stock worth owning for the long term. Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks mentioned. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment decision.