Nielsen Cigarette Data Sees Strong Deceleration - Wells Fargo

November 13, 2018 12:47 PM EST
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Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog notes that Nielsen data show cigarette industry volume decelerating quite precipitously (-8.2%) in the 4-wk period ended 11/3/18 vs the 12-wk period (-6.4%). She said it is difficult to attribute the drop entirely coming from e-cig/vapor competition. Herzog said they have asked Nielsen to investigate and they are we’re concerned their new database is flawed given recent c-store additions.

Overall, industry cig $ sales declined -5.2% (vs -3.7% for 12-wks) led by weaker vol, partially offset by cig pricing of +3.3% (vs +3.0% for 12-wks), the analyst notes.

For, Altria Group (NYSE: MO), cig $ sales were down -5.0% (-7.5% vol & +2.8% pricing). Importantly, Marlboro trends continued to show signs of stabilization in the latest 4-wk period with Marlboro’s retail $ share increasing 50bps y/y to 48.1%.

For, British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI) Sales Declined -5.4% As Newport Volume Continues to Decline, Lapping Tough Comps.

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