Better Stock Today Challenge: Ford vs. Philip Morris

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In the spirit of World Cup competition, we're holding our own tournament in search of the better stock today. We're pitting 32 companies against each other and you, the reader, will determine the winner.

Ford takes on Philip Morris for this first round-robin match up in our search for the better stock today.

Frank Thomas, research analyst for Hidden Gems, thinks rebounding U.S. auto sales should push Ford to the next round. Drivers are beginning to replace aging clunkers that have been on the road for more than 11 years, on average. And with its new, fuel-efficient lineup, Ford is better positioned to take advantage than any other Detroit automaker. This will make Ford a market-beater going forward, and that's why it should advance to the next round. 

Consumer goods editor Mark Reeth believes the primary reason that Philip Morris International should take the prize is its unmatched brand power. With the international rights to Marlboro, the world's best-selling cigarette brand by far, Philip Morris claims 28% of the global cigarette market. This massive scale and pricing power rewards the company with the industry's leading profit margins, which should enable it to return even more cash to owners in the form of dividends and buybacks over time. 

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Vote here to determine the winner of this match and sound off in the comments. Check back to to see who advances in the tournament.

The article Better Stock Today Challenge: Ford vs. Philip Morris originally appeared on

Frank Thomas owns shares of Ford and Philip Morris International. Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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