Why This Philip Morris Analyst Is Turning Bullish On Tobacco Giant

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) shares are trading higher by 2.44% to $101.69 Thursday morning. Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett upgraded Philip Morris Thursday from a Hold to Buy and announced a $118 price target.

What Happened?

Amid looming recession concerns, Jefferies Research notes how while the broader tobacco industry may not be recession-proof, tobacco is certainly recession resistant.

Jefferies cites better returns visibility for tobacco amidst a deteriorating macro evident post-2008. The tobacco sector during this period outperformed both wider staples and the market.

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For the case of Philip Morris, relative to the past, valuation still does not look challenged says Jefferies. Among several themes, Jefferies says Philip Morris is leading the shift over to the new tobacco model.

According to data from Benzinga Pro, PM has a 52-week high of $112.48 and a 52-week low of $82.85.