Altria Shares Take a Hit as Philip Morris Dividends Grow

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Altria Shares Take a Hit as Philip Morris Dividends Grow

Philip Morris International’s quarterly dividend is up while shares of Altria trend down over merger talks and the growing concern over e-cigarettes and vaping.

On Sept. 11, 2019, Philip Morris International announced that its board had increased the tobacco company’s dividend by 2.6 percent, bringing the annualized share to $4.68. The new quarterly is now set at $1.17, up from the previous $1.14, payable to holders of record Sept. 25.

This week, Altria shares trended downward after Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery downgraded the company. It was Altria’s minority stake in e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs that sparked the downgrade as JUUL received a warning letter this week from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after being accused of misusing modified risk claims in its marketing [read more here]. Lavery voiced concerns over JUUL’s ability to produce the earnings Altria expected.