Big Tobacco seen able to handle settlement payout
Despite the unprecedented size of the $206 billion nationwide tobacco settlement, state and local governments counting on the money need not be concerned about Big Tobacco's ability to pay, analysts said.
Analysts meeting this week at a conference on the tobacco settlement said they were confident tobacco manufacturers would remain healthy enough to make good on the agreement. "I expect revenues in the U.S. to remain sufficiently sound to back the (bonds),'' Martin Feldman, managing director at Salomon Smith Barney, said, adding that tobacco industry sales are "entirely sustainable.'' David Adelman, a principal at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, said he had a ``high degree of conviction these payments are going to be made.''