Saturday, March 31, 2007
Article in the New York Times -- Philip Morris Parent Pays Full $3.5 Billion to States in ’98 Deal, by Bloomberg News. Here's an excerpt:
Altria Group Inc., parent of the world’s largest tobacco company, made its full payment of $3.5 billion to states under a 1998 health care settlement, a move that may bolster the prices of municipal bonds backed by the payments.
The payment includes $400 million that the Altria unit Philip Morris USA disputes it owes, the company said yesterday in a statement distributed by Business Wire.
“While it’s certainly positive news for the tobacco sector, I don’t believe it’s a surprise to most investors,” said Mike Pietronico, a portfolio manager in New York who oversees about $6.1 billion of municipal bonds for Evergreen Investments.