Philip Morris International shares rise on report

AP News
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 3:27 PM

Philip Morris International Inc. shares rose Monday after Goldman Sachs put the cigarette maker on its "Conviction Buy" list.

Analyst Judy Hong said the company's growth "is being significantly underappreciated by the market."

Shares rose $1.70, or 3.5 percent, to $50.18 in afternoon trading Monday.

Hong said the firm's view is based on a forecast of per-share profit growth of 18 percent in 2010 and possibly higher sales volume due to a recovery in emerging markets as well as the introduction of more Marlboro-brand products. She also said boosts also could come from pricing and cost savings.

Hong forecasts that Philip Morris International's per-share profit would be 81 cents for the fourth quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 78 cents per share.

In 2010, Hong expects per-share profit of $3.90, compared with a $3.82 per share consensus prediction of analysts.

Philip Morris International is run out of Lausanne, Switzerland, and has additional offices in New York. It was owned by Altria Group Inc. until it was spun off in 2008.