Monday, September 23, 2019

For tobacco stocks, Walmart loss is just another setback

Walmart Inc.’s decision Friday to stop offering electronic cigarettes at U.S. stores may add insult to injury for tobacco stocks. The MSCI World Tobacco Index has fallen as much as 44% from a high set in June 2017 -- and the two biggest U.S. cigarette sellers, Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc, have dropped the most since the peak was reached. Last week, the index was less than 1% away from a seven-year low, set in December 2018. Altria’s potential merger partner, Philip Morris International Inc., is also in the index along with Imperial Brands Plc, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Swedish Match AB.

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