RM LAW, P.C. announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased Philip Morris International Inc. (“Philip Morris” or the “Company”) (NYSE: PM) securities between February 8, 2018 through April 18, 2018, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Philip Morris shareholders may, no later than November 5, 2018, move the Court for appointment as a lead plaintiff of the Class. If you purchased shares of Philip Morris and would like to learn more about these claims or if you wish to discuss these matters and have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights, contact Richard A. Maniskas, Esquire toll-free at (844) 291-9299 or to sign up online, click here.
This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding the Company’s business and prospects, including that Philip Morris was experiencing a faster decline in overall cigarette and e-cigarette (or “heated tobacco”) sales volumes during the first quarter of 2018 than investors had been led to believe, that its much-lauded sales initiatives had stalled, and that it was experiencing adverse sales headwinds in key markets. As a result of these misrepresentations, Philip Morris stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching a high of $109 per share.
On February 22, 2018 – one day after making rosy statements about the Company’s ongoing sales trends and expected results to investors – the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, André Calantzopoulos (”Calantzopoulos”), sold 49,000 shares of Philip Morris stock at $103.66 per share for over $5 million in gross insider trading proceedings. This sale was unusual in both timing and amount, representing a greater than 22% increase over the next greatest number of shares sold by Calantzopoulos in a single day in at least the preceding five years.
Then, on April 19, 2018, Philip Morris issued a press release announcing disappointing results for the Company’s first quarter of 2018. Against its easiest prior-year comparison, the Company reported that a combined cigarette and heated tobacco unit shipment volume had declined by 2.3% during the quarter. The Company also stated that key sales initiatives had stalled, as the Company’s heated tobacco unit growth had plateaued due to market demographics and faltering consumer conversion tactics and, further, that cigarette shipments had fallen by 5.3% during the quarter, signaling persistent adverse trends in the business.
On this news, the price of Philip Morris stock declined $15.80 per share or more than 15%, to close at $85.64 per share on April 19, 2018. This represented the worst daily decline for the Company in nearly a decade and a closing price of more than 17% below the price at which Calantzopoulos had sold his Philip Morris stock less than two months before.
If you are a member of the class, you may, no later than November 5, 2018, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff of the class. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as “lead plaintiff.” Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain RM LAW, P.C. or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.