Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) comments on the judgment of the Court of Justice of theEuropean Union following its legal review of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (“TPD”).
Marc Firestone, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Philip Morris International, said:
“Today’s judgment is specific to detailed aspects of EU law, and reflects the substantial deference that the Court of Justice often shows to the EU institutions when reviewing EU legislation.”
The Court’s opinion clarifies that the TPD does not necessarily preclude a Member State from adopting plain packaging, providing it can show that the measure respects private property, a competitive marketplace, and consumer access to information, and that it complies with domestic, European, and international law.
PMI and Member States participating in the case were seeking clarity on certain provisions of the TPD that appear to disrupt the balance of authority that the EU Treaties establish between the EU and the Member States, and violate the internal market principles upon which the EU was established.
Firestone continued, “The Court has not considered whether plain packaging is legal or is capable of reducing smoking rates. Those questions are currently under review by theEnglish High Court and the World Trade Organization. We look forward to the outcome of those proceedings, as well as the timely implementation of the Directive in each of the 28 Member States.” (Original Source)
Shares of Philip Morris closed yesterday at $98.52, down $0.04 or -0.04%. PM has a 1-year high of $102 and a 1-year low of $76.54. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $98.58 and its 200-day moving average is $90.34.
On the ratings front, Philip Morris has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 20, Goldman Sachs analyst Judy Hong maintained a Hold rating on PM, with a price target of $101, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels. Separately, on April 4, Morgan Stanley’s Matthew Grainger reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $110.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Judy Hong and Matthew Grainger have a total average return of 17.8% and 4.0% respectively. Hong has a success rate of 73.8% and is ranked #205 out of 3838 analysts, while Grainger has a success rate of 51.2% and is ranked #1127.
Overall, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 3 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $106.67 which is 8.3% above where the stock closed yesterday.