New York, November 2, 2018 - Labaton Sucharow LLP (“Labaton Sucharow”) announces that on September 26, 2018, it filed a securities class action lawsuit on behalf of its client Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters’ Pension Fund (“GPCPF”) against Philip Morris International Inc., (“Philip Morris” or the “Company”) (NYSE: PM), and certain of its executives (collectively, “Defendants”). The action, captioned Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters’ Pension Fund v. Philip Morris International Inc. et al, No. 1:18-cv-08814 (S.D.N.Y.), asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased Philip Morris’ publicly traded common stock between July 26, 2016 and April 18, 2018, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
The Complaint 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. et al, No. 1:18-cv-08049 (S.D.N.Y.) (“City of Westland”). Pursuant to the notice published on September 4, 2018 in connection with the filing of the City of Westland action, as required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 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 the September 4, 2018 notice (or no later than November 5, 2018).
Philip Morris is one of the largest and most recognizable cigarette and tobacco manufacturing companies in the world.
The Complaint 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, Phillip 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 November 5, 2018. 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, at (800) 321-0476, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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