Tobacco Stock Winners: Altria - TheStreet

Tobacco Stock Winners: Altria

Shares of tobacco stocks are popping midday Monday following U.S. Supreme Court decisions against both the tobacco industry and the government.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of tobacco stocks are popping midday Monday morning after the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court rejection of tobacco industry appeals was softened by the high court's rejection of government requests against the defendants on this same day.

On one hand, the Supreme Court rejected tobacco industry appeals to review lower-court rulings that found the defendants had violated federal racketeering laws by illegally hiding, for decades, the dangers of tobacco products they had been selling.

However, the Supreme Court's decisions on Monday weren't a total letdown for the tobacco companies; the court also shot down the government's previously rejected and renewed efforts to get the tobacco industry to surrender as much as $280 billion in profits for the health damages it's caused and roughly $10 billion for a nationwide, anti-smoking program.

Defendants in the former ruling include

Altria

(MO) - Get Report

and its Philip Morris USA division,

R.J. Reynolds (RAI)

, as well as

British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get Report

and

Lorillard

(LO)

, who each filed related appeals to the lower-court rulings.

Investors appear pleased with the news Monday, and are bidding tobacco stocks higher. Altria stock is rising 3.2% to $20.33, while Reynolds is advancing 4.1% to $53.49. British American Tobacco is adding 1% to $64.75, and Lorillard is gaining 2.5% to $73.56.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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