Philip Morris International (PMI) has better prospects than Altria..

April 20, 2008 - Philip Morris International (PMI) ha
s better prospects than Altria.. Altria spun off its overseas operations to shareholders on March 28, 2008 leaving Philip Morris International as the largest publicly traded tobacco company in the world. Only the state-owned China National Tobacco sells more cigarettes. The idea behind the split was to give Philip Morris International room to flourish. While tobacco use has waned for decades in the developed world, it is growing in China, Russia, India and other emerging nations. Beyond making inroads in China, PM's main task will be to push the Marlboro brand more overseas. ( Marlboro is the dominant brand in the global tobacco market, with an 8.5% share excluding the Chinese market. That's four times the size of its largest rival.) A beachhead in the tightly controlled Chinese tobacco market, the world's largest, gives PM an edge over competitors. It is the only tobacco company that has struck a standing deal with Chinese National Tobacco. That means PM can sell its popular Marlboro brand of cigarettes and other products in China. It is estimated that achievement of a modest 10% market share in China over the next ten years would add nearly two percentage points annually to PM's growth in sales volume. Altria has legal baggage and must cope with the declining demand for tobacco in the U.S.