Pulse Surveys: Q1 2024

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Every Sunday, we run a quick poll on the hottest subject in the Tobacco Industry. Hundreds of our Twitter/X followers vote, offering a collective wisdom on the subject matter or an immediate pulse on the market/industry developments.

Results of the Sunday polls:

March 31, 2024

Which tobacco major will deliver the best Total Shareholder Return (price appreciation plus dividends) in the next 12 months?

– BAT: 69%

– PMI: 16%

– Altria: 9%

– Imperial Brands: 6%

Note: Repeating the October 29, 2023 Poll

March 24, 2024

Sunday Poll: Does Philip Morris International (PMI) understate the regulatory, fiscal and social risks surrounding ZYN and IQOS?

– Yes (PMI understates): 55%

– No (PMI provides reasonable, comprehensive and timely risk assessments): 45%

March 17, 2024

Both BAT and Altria sold shares of their main associates (ITC & Anheuser-Busch InBev) to buy back their own shares. Are these smart or ill-conceived moves? In terms of (1) Rationale/need to divest (2) Use of proceeds

– Both smart: 43%

– BAT smart, Altria ill-conceived: 39%

– Both ill-conceived: 12%

– Altria smart, BAT ill-conceived: 5%

March 10, 2024

Which one is the most valuable nicotine brand in the world? (considering a 20-year time horizon)

– Marlboro: 34%

– IQOS: 31%

– Zyn: 21%

– Vuse: 14%

March 3, 2024

How will the recent developments surrounding ZYN in the US play out for PMI?

– Too early to tell: 43%

– No impact: 31%

– Some regulatory & fiscal measures and social backlash leading to lower growth: 18%

– Major legal settlement and/or asset impairment charges for PMI (from growth to decline): 8%

Feburary 25, 2024

Which piece of news from PMI’s CAGNY presentation did you like the most?

– No slow-down in IQOS growth: 48%

– Commitment to deliver growth in US$ terms: 22%

– Nothing: 21%

– Share gains in e-vapor (select markets): 10%

Feburary 18, 2024

Would you support BAT selling its entire ITC stake ($17.6Bn) to acquire Imperial Brands ($20.4Bn)? Swapping a disconnected fast-growth business with a waning cash cow (~$3Bn FCF in FY23) that can be fully integrated (cost savings)

– No: 65%

– Yes: 35%

Feburary 11, 2024

Do you support BAT’s plan to reduce its ITC stake?

– Yes: 57%

– No: 43%

Feburary 4, 2024 – Part III

Re-initiation of the share repurchase program is the most anticipated announcement for BAT’s FY23 Earnings release. Should BAT re-initiate share buybacks or continue to focus on debt reduction?

– Continue to reduce debt: 51%

– Re-initiate share buybacks: 49%

Feburary 4, 2024 – Part II

BAT will release the FY23 results on Feburary 8, 2024. How will the share price react?

– No significant move ($30/£23.5): 45%

– Move above MA200 ($32/£25.5): 31%

– New 52-week low ($28/£22): 24%

Feburary 4, 2024 – Part I

PMI will release the FY23 results on Feburary 8, 2024. Shares are stuck in $88-$100 range since the Q1 2023 release (April 2023). How will the share price react?

– No significant move: 65%

– New 52-week low (<$88): 19%

– Move above $100: 16%

January 28, 2024

Altria will release its Q4 2023 results on Feburary 1, 2024 (Thursday). How will the stock react?

– Next Leg Down: 43%

– No significant move: 42%

– Relief Rally: 15%

January 21, 2024

What will be the US cigarette market share of IQOS in 2032 (i.e. five years after nationwide expansion)?

– Less than 5%: 21%

– 5%-10%: 28%

– 10%-20%: 28%

– More than 20%: 23%

January 14, 2024

Which e-cigarette flavors should Regulators permit?

– All flavors (including sweet & fruity): 75%

– Only Menthol & Tobacco: 11%

– All non-sweet/fruity flavors (coffee, clove, star anise, etc. in addition to menthol & tobacco): 7%

– Only Tobacco: 7%

January 7, 2024

What will be the most important event for the Tobacco Industry in 2024?

– E-cigarette clampdown (US & elsewhere): 32%

– Menthol ban in the US: 28%

– IQOS launch in the US: 28%

– An unpredictable event (that will turn out to be more important than the events listed above): 12%

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