Philip Morris Cuts Earnings Forecast, Acquires E-Cigarettes Maker

Cigarette-maker Philip Morris has cut its 2014 earnings forecast, citing what it calls a "complex and truly atypical" year. It attributed significant currency headwinds, an improving but weak macro-economic environment in the European Union and challenges in Asia to the reduced forecast. The company also must take a pretax charge of $495 million, or 24 cents a share, in the second quarter, tied to its decision to stop cigarette production in the Netherlands by September. As more consumers seek less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, Philip Morris also announced that it acquired British e-cigarette maker Nicocig for an undisclosed price.