Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Altria Will Spin Off International Tobacco Unit

Article on cnn.com -- Altria to spin off international tobacco unit, by Reuters.  Here's an excerpt:

Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday it plans to spin off its international tobacco unit but will not give details on the timing on the much anticipated move until January.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 8.7 percent to 75 cents per share, less than the 10 percent increase some analysts had been expecting.

Altria (up $0.45 to $69.52, Charts, Fortune 500) shares gave up their early gains and were down 11 cents at $68.96 in mid-morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock traded as high as $70.98 earlier in the day.

The spinoff is the second in a corporate restructuring that has seen Altria spin off its Kraft Foods Inc. Holdings.

The Philip Morris International business is seen as having better growth opportunities, especially in emerging markets, than the Philip Morris USA business. U.S. cigarette consumption has fallen steadily since 1981.

BGS

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