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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 19, 2014
10:54 EDTMO, BTI, RAI, LOWells upgrades Reynolds, sees high chance of Lorillard acquisition
Wells Fargo upgraded Reynolds American (RAI) in a note to investors earlier today, as the firm thinks the company will probably acquire its rival Lorillard (LO). The deal will enable the combined company to significantly cut its costs, Wells Fargo predicted. Moreover, following such a deal, Reynolds could become a takeover target for British American Tobacco (BTI), Wells stated, adding that investors should buy Reynolds' stock and sell shares of another company in the sector, Altria Group (MO). WHAT'S NEW: There's an 80% chance that Reynolds could acquire Lorillard, and Reynolds would obtain cost synergies of $400M from the deal, Wells analyst Bonnie Herzog wrote in a note to investors earlier today. Following the deal, British American Tobacco could either acquire the combined company or look to form a strategic partnership with it, Herzog predicted. Moreover, Reynolds' growth could accelerate, and the company's decision to return its former CEO, Susan Cameron, to her old post is positive for the stock, the analyst stated. Additionally, Herzog has become more confident in Reynolds' ability to effectively innovate, which is more crucial than ever in the e-cigarette era, she wrote. The analyst upgraded her rating on the stock to Outperform from Market Perform. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Another company in the sector, Altria Group (MO), is not well-positioned for the e-cigarette era, Herzog contended. The company may have the most to lose from the rise of vapor cigarettes, as its market share of the overall cigarette market will drop 15 percentage points as e-cigarettes become more popular, the analyst estimated. She cut her rating on the stock to Market Perform from Outperform but kept her price target range on the shares at $41-$43. Herzog identified Lorillard as her top pick in the U.S. tobacco sector, predicting that it will continue to be able to charge higher prices for its menthol cigarettes than any of its competitors, while its e-cigarette brand "has significant global potential." She reiterated an Outperform rating on the shares.
News For RAI;MO;LO;BTI From The Last 14 Days
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January 25, 2015
17:53 EDTBTI, MO, RAI, LOWorries persist on Reynolds-Lorillard deal getting FTC approval, WSJ says
Shareholders are expected to approve the combination of tobacco companies Reynolds-American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) this week but the real concern for the deal that will result in a formidable competitor to rival Marlboro maker and market leader Altria Group (MO) is whether the FTC approves of the deal, says the Wall Street Journal. British American Tobacco (BTI), which owns 42% of Reynolds, agreed to vote for the deal which will make the third party to the deal, Imperial Tobacco Group (ITYBY), the No. 3 player in the U.S.,as Imperial agreed to pay $7B for Reynolds’ Winston, Salem and Kool brands and Lorillard’s Maverick cigarette and Blu e-cigarette brands, added the Wall Street Journal report. Reference Link
January 21, 2015
09:37 EDTLOLorillard to host special shareholder meeting
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09:32 EDTRAIReynolds American to host special shareholder meeting
Special shareholder meeting to approve the issuance of shares of common stock to Lorillard shareholders as consideration in the merger of the two companies will be held on January 28 at 9 am.
January 20, 2015
10:44 EDTLO, RAI, MOWells sees tobacco stocks as 'place to be' for 2015
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07:21 EDTMO, LO, RAIWells Fargo calls Tobacco 'place to be,' upgrades Altria Group
Wells Fargo calls the U.S. Tobacco sector the "place to be" in consumer staples in 2015. Wells lists positive catalysts for the group as stronger pricing power, protection from currency risk and upside potential from e-cigarettes. The firm says Reynolds American (RAI) remains its top pick and it raised its price target range for shares to $79-$81 from $69-$71. Wells upgraded Altria Group (MO) to Outperform from Market Perform with an increased price target range of $56-$58. The firm also has an Outperform rating on Lorillard (LO). Wells has a "high conviction" that Reynolds' deal with Lorillard will be approved by the FTC in March or April.
06:23 EDTMOAltria Group upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
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January 15, 2015
12:29 EDTMOFollow-up: Altria Group upgraded at Nomura
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12:12 EDTMOAltria Group upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
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