|Bid||3,199.00 x 0|
|Ask||3,199.50 x 0|
|Day's range||3,195.50 - 3,264.00|
|52-week range||1.16 - 3,500.50|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.60|
|PE ratio (TTM)||11.90|
|Earnings date||27 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.03 (6.27%)|
|Ex-dividend date||24 Dec 2019|
|1y target est||3,825.26|
Shares in British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) have been in an uptrend in recent months, and the question now for investors is whether that price strength will8230;
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Could British American Tobacco p.l.c. (LON:BATS) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors...
The world's largest cigarette makers, British American Tobacco Plc and Philip Morris International, will have until early March to defend themselves in a lawsuit in Brazil over compensation for tobacco-related diseases. Since last year, the companies have refused to receive subpoenas delivered to their local subsidiaries in the lawsuit brought the Brazilian solicitor general's office. Souza Cruz Ltda, Philip Morris Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda and Philip Morris Brasil SA, which produce 90% of the cigarettes sold in Brazil, maintained they were subsidiaries only and notifications had to be sent directly to their parent companies' headquarters in Britain and the United States.
* European shares turn positive: STOXX 600 +1.2% * Profit warning hammers Imperial Brands shares * Reports on virus breakthrough lifts markets Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (email@example.com), Joice Alves (firstname.lastname@example.org), Julien Ponthus (email@example.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Milan. Many analysts are fuming at the apparent lack of rationality behind the market rebound and the fact we're basically back to where we were before fears that a deadly epidemic would disrupt Q1 growth in China and beyond rattled trading floors.
* European shares turn positive: STOXX 600 +1% * Profit warning hammers Imperial Brands shares * Reports on virus breakthrough lifts markets Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (email@example.com), Joice Alves (firstname.lastname@example.org), Julien Ponthus (email@example.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Milan.
Jonathan Smith outlines three of his favourite dividend-paying stocks at the moment.The post 3 high-dividend-yield stocks I'd invest in for February appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Cars and cigarettes have at least one thing in common these days: They are both being disrupted by more modern alternatives. So Stefan Bomhard, the chief executive officer of car dealer Inchcape Plc, should have some idea of what he’ll face when he takes the reins at U.K. cigarette maker Imperial Brands Plc.It isn’t easy to find executives willing to move to the much-aligned tobacco industry. But Bomhard looks a good CEO choice for Imperial, which sells Lambert & Butler cigarettes and Blu vapes. The company had decided to part ways with Alison Cooper in October, a week after a profit warning. She will now step down as with immediate effect.Bomhard did a solid job at Inchcape. While the shares are down about 18% since he became CEO in April 2015, underperforming the FTSE All-Share Index, conditions in car dealing haven’t been easy since Britain voted to leave the European Union and consumer confidence crumbled. It’s still a much better performance than the FTSE All-Share General Retailers Index.The downside is that Bomhard doesn’t have any tobacco experience. But this is less of an issue than it would be in, say, general retailing. Imperial will have plenty of executives with many years’ worth of knowledge of the traditional cigarette business, still the biggest and most profitable part of the group. And he should be able to pull on his prior experience with big global brands in the race to grab market share for Imperial’s new products, whatever they may be.The new chief executive spent his career in consumer goods before joining Inchcape, with roles at spirits company Bicardi, chocolate and candy maker Cadbury, and consumer-goods giant Unilever. That should put him in good stead as Imperial attempts to pivot to alternatives to traditional cigarettes, which could in turn, pave the way for it to diversify into dispensing other adult, highly regulated products, such as cannabis.When Bomhard takes up the role at a yet to be determined date, his first task will be to get to grips with the crisis in the U.S. vaping industry. The company is evaluating the impact of the recent Food and Drug Administration ban on flavors aside from menthol and tobacco for pod-based electronic cigarettes, the type it makes.Then Bomhard will have to work quickly to decide where best to focus Imperial’s attention, and investment. Although the group has strong positions in vaping and oral nicotine, it only entered the heat-not-burn market relatively recently. He must decide whether to expand in this category, which has not been drawn into the crisis in the U.S. vaping industry.He could also look at reshaping other aspects of Imperial’s business, including traditional cigarettes. The company is already seeking to raise up to 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) through disposals, including a sale of its premium cigar business. But he could go further, say selling off parts of the portfolio in Asia and Africa, and returning the proceeds to shareholders, or investing more in tobacco alternatives.Either way, Bomhard must take decisive action. Shares in Imperial have fallen more than 20% over the past year, and they trade at a 40% discount to Bloomberg Intelligence’s global tobacco manufacturing valuation peer group. The company even lags Altria Group Inc., which is reeling from its disastrous investment in vaping company Juul Labs Inc.Imperial has long been seen as an acquisition target, with Japan Tobacco Inc. tipped as the most obvious contender. Another possibility would be for Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco Plc to carve up Imperial’s empire between them along geographical lines. So if Bomhard doesn’t light up the Imperial share price, a bigger rival just might.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Altria Group Inc.’s investment in Juul Labs Inc. is getting vaporized.The tobacco giant on Thursday announced a $4.1 billion non-cash charge related to its stake in the maker of electronic cigarettes. It’s the second writedown in three months, and means Altria’s 35% stake is now valued at $4.2 billion, about a third of its original $12.8 billion investment. Altria shares more than 5% in midday trading.The Marlboro maker’s Juul transaction, in December 2018, was part of a familiar playbook across Big Tobacco. With demand for cigarettes declining, it had little choice but to join other market leaders in the industry in pivoting toward alternatives with potentially lower health risks, but higher growth prospects.For most players, there have been hurdles along the way. Two years ago, for example, demand for devices that heat rather than burn tobacco slowed in Japan — the biggest market for this kind of alternative — which was a problem for Philip Morris Intenational Inc. and the U.K.’s British American Tobacco Plc. Unfortunately, with Juul, Altria has encountered more challenges than most.A crisis has engulfed the vaping industry after a spate of illnesses and deaths related to electronic cigarette use. Even though there is a growing consensus that these occurrences involved vaping oils carrying the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, the events have taken their toll on the U.S. vaping market.Juul has been at the forefront of criticism, besieged by lawsuits accusing it of using sweet fruit and candy flavors to overtly target underage users. The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a ban on flavors aside from menthol and tobacco for pod-based electronic cigarettes, such as those made by Juul, pending new rules coming into force in a few months time. Kenneth Shea, analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, says Juul’s many challenges must include the possibility that the FDA doesn’t approve it to remain on the U.S market. All manufacturers must submit their applications to keep their products on sale by May.Along with the Juul writedown, Altria has moved to renegotiate the terms of its agreement with Juul. It has the option to be released from a non-compete clause if Juul can’t sell electronic cigarettes in the U.S. for at least a year – acknowledging the possibility that Juul won’t get FDA approval -- or if the value of its investment falls below $1.28 billion. This paves the way for Altria to introduce its own vaping cigarettes, or, more likely, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Shea, a move away from electronic cigarettes to heat-not-burn. Unlike electronic cigarettes, these haven’t been drawn into the vaping crisis. Altria has the license to distribute IQOS, Philip Morris’s heat-not-burn product, in the U.S. Given the long-term trend for declining smoking rates – Altria will no longer provide multi- year forecasts for U.S. cigarette declines -- all tobacco companies, must find alternatives to traditional cigarettes. At the time of its original investment, Juul was disrupting the industry, leaving Marlboro man trailing in its wake. By getting in on the act, it was hoping to future-proof its business.But Altria should have been more aware of the risks, particularly those related to underage vaping, which were plain to see, after Juul axed social media accounts and pulled some flavors. And it should have factored this into the price it paid. To be fair, it couldn’t have foreseen how the environment for electronic cigarettes in the U.S. would deteriorate so dramatically over the past six months.Altria’s new emphasis on heat-not-burn over vaping looks sensible, but it makes the Juul investment look a very expensive foray into a category it may end up moving away from. As Altria’s investment dollars go up in smoke, so do any hopes that its shift away from cigarettes will be quick or easy. To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
I rate the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) highly for those investing for their pensions. Here are three of my top retirement stocks.The post I'd buy these 3 FTSE 100 stocks to beat the State Pension in 2020 appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said e-cigarette makers will be banned from selling pod-based e-cigarette flavours, including fruit, dessert and mint, in the United States from February. The ban was less stringent than one U.S. President Donald Trump had proposed in September, when he threatened to remove all flavours, including menthol, from all types of e-cigarettes to curb a teenage vaping epidemic. BAT shares rose as much as 2.5% and were the biggest gainers in the FTSE 100 index where many shares were hit by heightened tensions in the Middle East.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The next big thing for big tobacco has turned into a bit of a nightmare. Vaping took off as a potentially healthier alternative to smoking for adults looking to kick the habit. But then it caught on with a whole new generation, sparking a teen epidemic in the U.S and fears that they could graduate to smoking traditional cigarettes. Matters worsened with a spate of illnesses among some users of electronic cigarettes, raising questions about the safety of vaping for young and old.In the U.K., the fallout from declining sales of tobacco alternatives across the Atlantic has hit British American Tobacco Plc and Imperial Brands Plc hard. Now as new management teams at both companies try to figure out what’s the best strategy back to growth, their fortunes will be driven more by regulations in the U.S. than their business closer to home. But this doesn’t have to be bad news. Heightened scrutiny in the U.S. can dispel concerns about safety, and eventually pave the way for companies to expand their vaping technology to devices that deliver cannabis, vitamins and medicines. Vaping first came under scrutiny for its appeal to teenagers. Altria Group Inc.-backed Juul Labs Inc., has been besieged by lawsuits accusing it of using sweet fruit and candy flavors to overtly target under-aged users. The situation escalated over the summer, after a spate of illnesses and deaths related to electronic-cigarette use. ECigIntelligence, a data provider, now forecasts a 13% decline in the U.S. vaping market in 2020. Previously it had forecast an increase of more than 10%.As the world’s biggest vaping market, accounting for about 45% of global sales in 2019, it’s little wonder the U.S. slowdown is hurting. Imperial, which sells Winston cigarettes in the U.S., warned on profit in September, and parted company with its chief executive officer, Alison Cooper, a week later. BAT, maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes, recently said sales growth from its new generation products would be at the lower end of its forecast range of 30%-50%. A few months earlier, it had guided to the midpoint.With the scrutiny of vaping, having a broad-based portfolio of tobacco alternatives is crucial. Here BAT is well placed, having invested $4 billion over the past five years. Seven months since becoming CEO, Jack Bowles has reorganized its alternatives into three global brands: Glo for heated tobacco, Vuse for vaping and Velo for oral nicotine products. That shows commitment and urgency. It’s still not clear which category, if any, will be the winner, so having options on each is wise.Vaping probably has the most long-term potential. In the meantime, heat not burn options may come to prominence, especially as they haven’t been drawn into the controversy. They’re already popular in Japan, but with Philip Morris International Inc. now selling its IQOS device in the U.S. too, BAT may need to spend more in this area.The $49 billion purchase of the shares it did not already own in Reynolds American Inc. in 2017 stretched BAT’s balance sheet, pushing net debt to more than 6 times Ebitda. But leverage has come down to around 3.5 times, according to an estimate by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Duncan Fox. That’s still high, but it gives Bowles more scope to invest and pay the dividend.Rival Imperial has made a big bet on vaping with its Blu brand, while it also has a strong position in oral tobacco. But it was late into heat not burn, only launching Pulze in Japan in May. Whoever succeeds Cooper as CEO will need to decide whether to expand in this category, or double down on vaping. Either way, it will mean more investment. For that, the new CEO can draw on the cash generated by the traditional cigarette business, an up to 2 billion-pound asset disposal program and a new dividend policy. The company will return any additional cash to shareholders through buy-backs. It should divert at least some of this into tobacco alternatives instead.Both companies should take care not to create a teen vaping craze at home. After complaints from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other organizations, the U.K.’s advertising regulator this month banned BAT from using public Instagram accounts to promote smoking alternatives like e-cigarettes. However, it didn’t find that the company had designed ads specifically to target youth.At least investment decisions could be made against a calmer market backdrop in the U.S. There’s a growing consensus that the vaping-related illnesses and deaths involved vaping oils carrying the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against using black-market products.In 2020, new U.S. regulations will require companies to submit applications by May to keep their e-cigarettes on the market. Big tobacco has the resources to go through this complicated and expensive process. Smaller producers may not. Over about the next 12 months, this regime could reduce some of the competitive pressures on big tobacco. But in both tobacco and newer alternatives, it’s not going to be plain sailing. Numerous U.S. states have outlawed some kinds of e-cigarettes, and although a federal ban on vape flavors aside from tobacco now looks less likely after backtracking by President Donald Trump, it can’t be ruled out. Meanwhile, at some point, U.S. regulators may return their attention to efforts to reduce the amount of nicotine and ban menthol flavors in traditional cigarettes, bringing more pain to what remains tobacco companies’ biggest and most profitable segment by far. (Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has campaigned for and given money in support of a nationwide ban in the U.S. on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco.)Pressure there, and everywhere, could bring more industry hook ups. Philip Morris International and Altria in September ended their brief merger flirtation. Such talks could always come back onto the agenda again or the two may look abroad. Imperial has long been seen as a takeover target, with Japan Tobacco Inc. considered the most likely buyer. A new Imperial CEO may walk in the door only to find that there is a predator hard on the company’s heels.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see British...