Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO (http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=MO)), previously called Philip Morris Companies Inc., is one of the world's largest food, beverage, and tobacco corporations and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Altria's tobacco subsidiary Philip Morris is the world's largest commercial tobacco company by sales (the China National Tobacco Company and Japan Tobacco sell larger volumes). Their flagship Marlboro brand is the world's second most popular tobacco brand after Japan Tobacco's Mild Seven. Other popular tobacco brands owned by Phillip Morris are Parliament, Virginia Slims, West(in Germany) and Benson and Hedges(in some markets only)
Philip Morris was begun by a London tobacconist of the same name. He was one of the first people to sell hand-rolled cigarettes in the 1860s, selling them under the brand names Oxford and Cambridge Blues, following the adoption of cigarette smoking by British soldiers returning from the Crimean War. The company opened its New York office in 1902 and soon became part of James Duke's American Tobacco monopoly.
Though Altria's headquarters are still in New York, its Philip Morris USA division moved its headquarters to Richmond, Virginia following a smoking ban that prevented smoking in its offices.
Philip Morris bought Kraft Foods on October 30, 1988 for US$13.1 billion, in a bid to diversify from the declining tobacco business and to reduce litigation risk. It also purchsed the Nabisco division of the former RJR Nabisco in 2000.
On January 27, 2003, Philip Morris Companies Inc. changed its name to Altria Group, Inc to better reflect its wide portfolio of assets.
In November 2004, it was annouced that Altria was considering splitting itself into three separate companies, because the United States tobacco liability problem was lowering the valuation of all areas of its business, including international tobacco sales.
Altria owns 100 percent of Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International, and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. It also owns 84 percent of Kraft Foods Inc. and 36 percent of SABMiller plc.
- Benson & Hedges
- Collector's Choice
- English Ovals
- Virginia Slims
Food & Beverage
- Jacobs Coffee
- Kaffee HAG
- Kraft cheese
- Lenders Bagels
- Maxwell House
- Miracle Whip
- Oscar Mayer meats
- Post cereals
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- Shake n Bake