You’re Killing Yourself! No Judgment. But You’re Killing Yourself!

thank-you-for-smoking-poster-0.jpgMarch 30 will be the day Altria finally rids itself of the dead weight that is Kraft Foods Inc, Bloomberg reports. For every share of Altria, investors will get 0.7 share of Kraft. As we noted earlier this morning, this spin-off will allow the units to focus on separate interests, Oreos/Tang vs. cigarettes, while remaining committed to the mutual goal of screwing the youth of tomorrow, by whatever poison possible (trans fats versus tobacco). (Here at the DB HQs, we’re content to merely do it through poor attitudes and ineffectual discourse).
Fourth quarter profits at Altria increased 29% to $2.96 billion ($1.40/share), due to higher Marlboro prices and overseas sales. Revenue swelled 3.7% to $25.4 billion. 4Q profits at Kraft declined for the first time in four and half years. Net income dropped to $624 millino (38 cents/share); sales dropped 3% to $9.37 billion.

Altria to Spin Off Kraft Unit in March to Spur Growth
[Bloomberg]

thank-you-for-smoking-poster-0.jpgNot too long ago, Philip Morris changed its name to Altria in order to distance itself from those pesky little cancer sticks it did such a great job of selling—specifically, Marlboro brand cigarettes. But apparently it wasn’t the cigarettes that were the dead weight. Altria is spinning off its Krafts Foods division, which makes Oreos, Tang, and a bunch of other products cigarettes are too good to associate themselves with. The split was originally announced in October; today, Altria’s chief executive, Louis c. Camilleri will set a timetable for the spinoff’s completion (shares have risen 10% since the split was announced).
An analyst from Citigroup, which just can’t seem to catch a break, told the New York Times “The exciting part for me…is that tobacco use today will evolve. It’s unlikely that there will ever be a 100 percent safe cigarette, but we feel that a reduced-risk cigarette is on the horizon.” Sounds like dropping the Kraft Foods fatties was a shrewd move for Altria. With advent of cigarettes that don’t-cause-cancer-but-will-most-likely-still-cause-things-like- Emphysema-discolored-nails-ashtray-smelling-breath-etc, shares are sure to shoot through the roof.
Tobacco’s Stigma Aside, Wall Street Finds a Lot to Like [NYT]