What Are Sin Stocks?

Roberto Rivero

In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of importance placed on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors when making an investment. However, some investors have fewer concerns when it comes to their investments, so long as it provides them with healthy returns.

In this article, we will examine sin stocks, providing a sin stock definition, as well as looking at the advantages and disadvantages associated with such investments. We will also provide examples of two of the best sin stocks to watch in 2024.

What Are Sin Stocks?

Sin stocks represent the shares of companies which are engaged in, or associated with, sectors considered to be immoral.

Whilst proponents of ethical and socially responsible investing seek out investments which tend to provide a benefit to society, sin stocks are often perceived as profiting from human weakness and vice.

Traditionally, the sectors associated with sin stocks include alcohol, tobacco, weapon manufacturers, adult entertainment and gambling. However, what is and is not “sinful” is fairly subjective and, therefore, people’s perceptions what a sin stock is can vary.

For example, fast-food chains usually escape the label of sin stock, but considering that their unhealthy products directly contribute to the growing levels of obesity throughout the world, some may argue that they should be categorised as such.

Sin Stock Advantages

Although some investors may be morally adverse to investing in a sin stock, we can identify a couple of benefits associated with doing so.

Firstly, due to the simple fact that sin stocks are often overlooked by investors because of their negative perception, they can be undervalued. In other words, their share price is not reflective of the value which they offer their shareholders.

Many sin stocks are well-established companies, with strong financials and which pay generous dividends to their shareholders, however, this is not always reflected in the price.

Secondly, demand for many of these companies’ products tends to be inelastic, meaning that their customers will continue to consume them regardless of the economic climate or any other factor which may usually affect demand. This makes many sin stocks relatively recession proof, at least when compared to other stocks.

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What Are the Disadvantages of Sin Stocks?

As well as providing some advantages for investors, sin stocks also come with several clear disadvantages.

Due to their nature, sin stocks face greater political and regulatory risk than other investments. They tend to face a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, as lawmakers attempt to dissuade consumers from buying their products.

Take cigarettes for example. Ever since the negative health effects of smoking have become public knowledge, tobacco companies have faced a continual barrage of restrictions placed on their products - such as advertisement restrictions, mandatory risk warnings, age limits and so on.

Furthermore, sin stocks can be subject to increased taxation by the government. This tax is intended to be a further method of discouraging consumers, however, it also helps to generate tax revenue which can be used to combat any negative societal effects generated by consumption of the product.

Sin Stocks to Watch in 2024

In the following sections, we will take a look at a few specific examples of so-called sin stocks.

For the purposes of this article, we are using the traditional definition of what constitutes a “sin stock”. Any industry or company’s inclusion should not be perceived as a negative judgement on our part on these industries or on anyone who decides to invest in them.

Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas Sands is a US casino stock which, despite the name, operates exclusively in Macau, where it owns five resorts, and Singapore, where it owns one resort. The company sold its Las Vegas interests in 2021.

Naturally, being an Asian-centric business hurt the casino operator during the pandemic, as the region experienced longer and stricter social restrictions than many other places around the world.

With the much anticipated reopening of the Chinese economy at the end of 2022, the company’s Macau resorts have come back to life and its Singapore business continues to thrive.

Net revenue from operations in Macau soared more than 200% in the first six months of 2023, with EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) reported at $939 million, following a loss of $121 million the previous year. Net revenue and EBITDA from its Singapore business jumped 64% and 88% respectively.

This reversal in fortune has been reflected in the stock market, with the Las Vegas Sands’ share price climbing more than 20% in the first half of 2023.


Philip Morris International

Smoking is in long-term decline, however, due to the addictive nature of their product, tobacco companies are able to raise prices to compensate for falling demand, allowing them to continue generating large amounts of cash.

Philip Morris is the largest tobacco company in the world by market capitalisation, almost twice the size of its largest competitor at the time of writing.

Like the other big tobacco companies, in the face of falling demand, Philip Morris has begun to diversify away from cigarettes, expanding into next generation products. These next generation products include heat-not-burn tobacco products and oral nicotine pouches, both of which have experienced high levels of growth in recent years.

Whilst net revenue rose in the first six months of 2023, an increase in operating costs led to a 17% drop in operating income. Nevertheless, Philip Morris continued its impressive record of dividend payments, which it has raised every year since the company spun off from Altria Group in 2008.

In this time, its quarterly dividend has increased more than 170% and, at the time of writing, the sin stock boasts a yield of 5.20%, more than three times the S&P 500 average.

Depicted: Admirals MetaTrader 5Philip Morris International Weekly Chart. Date Range: 15 January 2017 – 2 August 2023. Date Captured: 3 August 2023. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

How to Invest in Sin Stocks

With an investing account from Admirals, you can buy shares in both of the companies examined in this article. In order to start investing, follow these steps:

  1. Open an Invest.MT5 account with Admirals and log in to the Dashboard
  2. Find your account details and click ‘Invest’ to open the MetaTrader WebTrader
  3. Search for your desired asset on the right-hand side of the screen
  4. Click ‘Create New Order’ at the bottom of the screen, enter the number of shares you wish to purchase and click ‘Buy’ to send your order to the market.
Depicted: Admirals MetaTrader WebTraderLas Vegas Sands Corp. Date Captured: 3 August 2023. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

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Sin Stock FAQ

What Is the Opposite of Sin Stocks?

Sin stocks can be contrasted with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) stocks or Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Whereas sin stocks are perceived to profit from human vice, ESG and SRI stocks are shares in companies which look after the environment, promote diversity, support local communities, are responsibly managed, and so forth.

Why Invest in Sin Stocks?

Many sin stocks operate in defensive industries, that is, industries which tend to be able to rely on a fairly consistent level of demand regardless of what is happening in the wider economy. Furthermore, many of the best sin stocks distribute dividends to their shareholders.


The given data provides additional information regarding all analysis, estimates, prognosis, forecasts, market reviews, weekly outlooks or other similar assessments or information (hereinafter “Analysis”) published on the websites of Admiral Markets investment firms operating under the Admiral Markets trademark (hereinafter “Admiral Markets”) Before making any investment decisions please pay close attention to the following: 

  1. This is a marketing communication. The content is published for informative purposes only and is in no way to be construed as investment advice or recommendation. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and that it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
  2. Any investment decision is made by each client alone whereas Admiral Markets shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from any such decision, whether or not based on the content.
  3. With view to protecting the interests of our clients and the objectivity of the Analysis, Admiral Markets has established relevant internal procedures for prevention and management of conflicts of interest.
  4. The Analysis is prepared by an independent analyst Roberto Rivero, Freelance Contributor (hereinafter "Author") based on personal estimations.
  5. Whilst every reasonable effort is taken to ensure that all sources of the content are reliable and that all information is presented, as much as possible, in an understandable, timely, precise and complete manner, Admiral Markets does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained within the Analysis.
  6. Any kind of past or modelled performance of financial instruments indicated within the content should not be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by Admiral Markets for any future performance. The value of the financial instrument may both increase and decrease and the preservation of the asset value is not guaranteed.
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