NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Philip Morris International (PM) are slightly lower at the market open as the world's biggest tobacco company is prepared to sue the British government should it implement a law requiring plain packaging of cigarettes, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The U.K. government conducted a consultation with its Department of Health on potential legislation which would force cigarette makers to sell their products in plain packages with graphic health warnings and no branding, Reuters noted.
The company told the U.K. government that it "is prepared to protect its rights in the courts and to seek fair compensation for the value of its property."
TheStreet Ratings team rates PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL (PM) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."