Philip Morris confirms talks with Altria on a potential merger of equals

Philip Morris International Inc.

PM, -4.86%

said Tuesday it is in talks with Altria Group Inc.

MO, +9.35%

on a potential all-stock merger of equals. The news sent Altria’s stock up 9.3% in premarket trade, while Philip Morris stock fell about 3%. “There can be no assurance that any agreement or transaction will result from these discussions,” Philip Morris cautioned in a statement. The company said it will not make any further comment regarding the negotiations until it is appropriate to do so. Altria shares have fallen 4.6% in 2019 through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.36%,

which counts it as a member, has gained 11% and the S&P 500

SPX, +0.52%

has gained 15%.

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