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PM

Philip Morris

$75.29

0.74 (0.99%)

, MO

Altria Group

$44.65

0.25 (0.56%)

07:55
09/12/19
09/12
07:55
09/12/19
07:55

Jefferies lowers Philip Morris and Altria targets, sees little value in merger

Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett updated his estimates on Philip Morris (PM) and Altria Group (MO) post their results and his look at the possible merger in more detail. With a deal creating "little value in a best case scenario," the analyst thinks the merger "could also be a move driven to limit downside," with Juul possibly to be targeted by the FDA and/or the IQOS outlook globally not as strong as perceived. To reflect these risks, Bennett lowered his price target for Philip Morris to $71 from $82 and for Altria Group to $46 from $57. The analyst keeps Hold rating on both stocks.

PM

Philip Morris

$75.29

0.74 (0.99%)

MO

Altria Group

$44.65

0.25 (0.56%)

PM Philip Morris
$75.29

0.74 (0.99%)

09/04/19
SBSH
09/04/19
NO CHANGE
SBSH
Citi sees 'significant chance' of Philip Morris, Altria deal not going ahead
In the last month, Philip Morris (PM) has fallen 16% and Altria Group (MO) 10% as investors seem skeptical about the benefits of the proposed merger, Citi analyst Adam Spielman tells investors in a research note. As such, there is a "significant chance" that investor skepticism causes the proposed merger to fail, either because the managements call it off, or because it fails to pass one or both shareholder votes, unless the companies can present compelling new reasons for the merger to shareholders, contends the analyst. Should the deal fail, Spielman expects Philip Morris shares to "bounce nicely." If Philip Morris shareholders wanted iQos exposure in the U.S. they could simply buy Altria stock, says Spielman. Furthermore, a merger ensures Philip Morris shareholders are exposed to U.S. cigarette volume declines and regulatory risk, adds the analyst. In addition, while there would be cost synergies of about $600M, boosting combined earnings by about 3%, investors in tobacco are currently focused on sustainable sales growth, not near-term earnings, Spielman writes. "As we stated, we are unconvinced by the arguments we've heard so far," he points out.
09/05/19
MSCO
09/05/19
NO CHANGE
MSCO
Morgan Stanley sees little merit in recombining Philip Morris with Altria
Morgan Stanley analyst Pamela Kaufman believes much of the rationale behind Philip Morris (PM) and Altria's (MO) split in 2008 remains valid and she sees little strategic or financial merit in a potential recombination, which the companies have confirmed they are discussing via a possible all-stock merger of equals. Gaining full control of IQOS in the U.S. does not justify such a transaction and while Philip Morris may be interested in buying Altria to gain exposure to JUUL, Kaufman noted that the former would also inherit the latter's noncompete with JUUL in vaping, impacting its ability to sell other e-cigs. Also, it is unclear if JUUL will be able to replicate its success internationally and there is significant risk in the U.S. given uncertainty around JUUL's FDA approval, she believes. Kaufman has an Equal Weight rating on Altria shares and an Overweight rating on Philip Morris International.
09/10/19
PIPR
09/10/19
DOWNGRADE
Target $49
PIPR
Neutral
Altria Group downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery downgraded Altria Group (MO) to Neutral from Overweight and lowered his price target for the shares to $49 from $64. Following discussions between Altria and Philip Morris (PM) of a potential merger of equals, the analyst has less confidence in Altria's outlook. The analyst says any interest in a deal without a premium could suggest more stress on the underlying fundamentals and management's outlook for the future than he had appreciated. Further, the analyst adds that while potential earnings from the Juul stake may be underappreciated, he's also less confident on Altria's approval from the FTC and FDA. He prefers more clarity from regulators before getting more bullish on the vapor outlook.
09/12/19
SBSH
09/12/19
NO CHANGE
SBSH
E-vapor regulation to hit Juul hard, 'odd time' for merger talks, says Citi
The Trump Administration said yesterday that it will "clear" the market of all non-tobacco flavored e-vapor products, including mint and menthol, Citi analyst Adam Spielman tells investors in a research note. The analyst had hoped the rules would have little impact on Juul as it has stopped supplying fruit flavors to physical stores. However, Trump's proposal is likely to hit Juul hard, as about three-quarter of its volume is in mint, says Spielman. Further, he believes at least half of British American Tobacco's (BTI) and IImperial Brands' (IMBBY) e-vapor volumes in the U.S. will be banned under the new definition. This all reinforces that this is an "odd time" for Philip Morris (PM) and Altria Group (MO) to be in merger talks, contends Spielman. The analyst, who doubts Trump's announcement will affect the talks between the companies, says the future of tobacco regulation in the U.S. is unclear currently. "We can only assume the companies have chosen to talk now because they are very confident about the outcomes. We, by contrast, see plenty of risk," writes Spielman.
MO Altria Group
$44.65

0.25 (0.56%)

09/09/19
PIPR
09/09/19
DOWNGRADE
PIPR
Neutral
Altria Group downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray

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