Philip Morris Raising Prices

Philip Morris USA is raising prices on Marlboro and other cigarettes by about 9 cents per pack next week, while some of its smaller brands could get an 18-cent-per-pack increase, Reuters reported.

Philip Morris USA told trade partners about the plan on Wednesday, and the new list prices will go into effect on Feb. 9, according to Reuters.

The company said the increases stem from its periodic evaluation of its pricing strategies.

A Goldman Sachs analyst called the increases "relatively modest" and said larger increases could come in the future, given the 61-cent federal excise tax increase in April as a result of SCHIP legislation.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a law expanding SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) to include 3.5 million uninsured children. The expansion is being paid for by increasing the federal tax on cigarettes to $1 per pack, from the current 39 cent-per-pack tax.

Philip Morris is raising list prices by 90 cents per carton, or 9 cents per pack, on Marlboro and other brands such as Basic, Parliament and Virginia Slims, Reuters said.

It’s also raising the price of brands such as Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, Lark and Merit by $1.80 per carton, or 18 cents per pack.

Analysts anticipate that Reynolds American and Lorillard will respond with similar price adjustments.

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