Labaton Sucharow LLP announces that a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Philip Morris International Inc. (“Philip Morris”) common stock between July 26, 2016 and April 18, 2018, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The class action, captioned Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters’ Pension Fund v. Philip Morris International Inc., No. 18-cv-08814-RA (S.D.N.Y.), expands the class period asserted in the action against Philip Morris captioned City of Westland Police and Fire Retirement System v. Philip Morris International Inc., No. 18-cv-08049-RA (S.D.N.Y.).
At the direction of the Court, investors wishing to serve as Lead Plaintiff in the securities actions pending against Philip Morris are required to file a motion for appointment as Lead Plaintiff, no later than 60 days from November 30, 2018 (or no later than January 29, 2019).
Philip Morris is one of the largest and most recognizable cigarette and tobacco manufacturing companies in the world.
The class action, filed against Philip Morris and certain of its executives (collectively, “Defendants”), alleges that during the Class Period, Defendants emphasized a “wide array of benefits” of heat-not-burn products such as IQOS – including the “potential to reduce the risk of smoking related diseases” and less harmful than cigarettes. However, Defendants’ statements were materially false and misleading because Defendants failed to disclose that there were irregularities in the clinical experiments underpinning Philip Morris’ applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for IQOS in the United States. On news of a report detailing irregularities in the clinical trials underpinning the Company’s FDA application, the Company’s stock price fell $3.75 per share or 3.5 percent, to close at $104.37 per share on December 20, 2017. Then on January 25, 2018, it was reported that the FDA had recommended for the rejection of Philip Morris’ bid to market IQOS as safer than traditional cigarettes in the United States. On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $3.11 per share or 2.81 percent, to close at $107.49 per share on January 25, 2018.
Concurrent with the FDA application for marketing IQOS in the United States, the Company was experiencing negative sales trends due to declining smoking percentages worldwide. During this period, Defendants were reassuring investors that these negative sales trends were being successfully offset by new sales initiatives and touted steady growth mainly attributed to the success of IQOS. However, Defendants failed to disclose (i) that Philip Morris was experiencing a faster decline in overall cigarette and e-cigarette (or heated tobacco) sales volumes than investors had been led to believe, (ii) that its much-lauded sales initiatives had stalled, and (iii) that it was experiencing adverse sales headwinds in key markets. Later, on April 19, 2018, Philip Morris announced disappointing results for the Company’s first quarter of 2018. On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $15.80 per share, or more than 15 percent, to close at $85.64 per share on April 19, 2018.
If you purchased or acquired Philip Morris common stock during the Class Period, you are a member of the “Class” and may be able to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff. Lead Plaintiff motion papers must be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York no later than January 29, 2019. The Lead Plaintiff is a court-appointed representative for absent members of the Class. You do not need to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff to share in any Class recovery in this action. If you are a Class member and there is a recovery for the Class, you can share in that recovery as an absent Class member. You may retain counsel of your choice to represent you in this action.
If you would like to consider serving as Lead Plaintiff or have any questions about this lawsuit, you may contact Francis P. McConville, Esq. of Labaton Sucharow LLP, at (800) 321-0476, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of the complaint can be obtained here. Please visit our website for more information.
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