Philip Morris to raise cigarette prices
NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Philip Morris Cos. Inc., the world's largest tobacco company, will raise U.S. cigarette prices to distributors by about 3 percent on Monday to boost profits and help pay for legal settlement costs, Bloomberg News said.
The maker of Marlboro, Benson & Hedges, and Virginia Slims will raise wholesale prices by 6 cents a pack, which could come out to about 8 cents a pack at checkout counters, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Analysts had been expecting the increase and say rival U.S. cigarette makers are likely to follow.
Company officials at Philip Morris were not immediately available on Saturday to confirm the report.
Cigarette makers have been hit with a series of lawsuits claiming compensation for the treatment of sick smokers and damages, culminating in a record $145 billion punitive damages award by a Florida jury earlier this month.
Shares of Philip Morris closed 1/4 higher on Friday at $25-11/16.