I agree that an MSA type settlement is most likely in Canada, where MO has only <25% of the market share in a country with a population of 30 million. IMO, it is very unlikely for a country like Canada to nationalize tobacco industry, since amongst other things, the Canadian central or provincial governments do not know how to manufacture or market cigarettes and that country does not have a history of nationalizing any industries I am aware of.
My concern is whether this type of significant tax increase will spread like wild fire to other countries where MO does business? For example, the sudden increase of taxes in Saudi Arabia and Russia in the last couple of years have considerably decreased the sale of tobacco products through legal channels, and hence affect MO's profitability. I like to hear the opinions of other people on the Board.
IMO, the sudden drop of cigarette consumption by 11-12% in a quarter is as reliable as the pool result of Deway winning the election over Truman.