Well the first key point is that Reynolds and Altria - with their US market only focus - are the key comparators here. You can see this by how the two shares have performed over the last three years - an amazing correlation:
Looking at the Reynolds American numbers out today, the key excerpt was this one: solid single digit EPS growth in 2013 and an either side of 5% growth expectation in 2014 plus a 6.3% increase in the dividend. All very solid.
How does these numbers compare to Altria? As per my report from a couple of weeks ago the comparisons are as follows:
2013 growth: RA +7.4%, Altria +7.7%
Dividend increase at end of FY13: RA +6.3%, Altria +9%
2014 estimated growth: RA +3.5-8.2%, Altria +6-9%
Current dividend yield: RA 5.3%, Altria 5.6%
EV/ebit FY13A RA x9, Altria x7
I also note that despite the 3 year share price chart showed above, over the last year Altria has underperformed Reynolds American by around 5%.
Put all of this together and remaining long Altria of choice in the US-focused tobacco space makes sense to me.