• 800 fired from pot jobs in malls, and other cannabis stories you may have missed
    Yahoo Finance Canada

    800 fired from pot jobs in malls, and other cannabis stories you may have missed

    These past few weeks have not been smooth sailing for pot companies. 

  • Cronos Group (CRON) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Cronos Group (CRON) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    Cronos Group (CRON) closed at $5.52 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.85% move from the prior day.

  • Altria Quit Vaping Market in Secret Deal With Juul, FTC Says
    Bloomberg

    Altria Quit Vaping Market in Secret Deal With Juul, FTC Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Altria Group Inc. pulled out of the e-cigarette market in the fall of 2018 because of a secret deal with rival Juul Labs Inc. -- not because of the public-health concerns it cited publicly at the time, according to U.S. antitrust officials.The Federal Trade Commission revealed the agreement between the two companies in an antitrust complaint made public Friday. The complaint cites new evidence about the negotiations between the two companies that resulted in Altria’s $12.8 billion investment in Juul in December 2018.The complaint from the FTC, which sued on Wednesday to block the deal and ordered Altria and Juul to unwind the investment, states that Altria pulled its MarkTen product from the market as a condition of investing in Juul.Juul’s “executives made clear their position that Altria could not remain a competitor in the relevant market if there was to be a deal,” according to the complaint. During negotiations, Juul insisted, “and Altria recognized, that Altria’s exit from the e-cigarette market was a non-negotiable condition for any deal.”Altria had told the Food and Drug Administration in an Oct. 25, 2018, letter that it believed kids shouldn’t use tobacco and it would remove its e-cigarette products MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen from the market, and remove all flavors except for menthol and mint from its other, similar products. On Dec. 7 of that year, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes announced it was winding down the rest of the e-cigarette business. Less than two weeks later, Altria had a deal to take a 35% stake in Juul.Altria was facing intense competition at the time from Juul, which was the market leader with 70% of the market at the time, according to the FTC. The $12.8 billion investment, which Altria has since written down, eliminated competition between the two companies, leaving consumers with reduced choice, according to the FTC.Juul spokesman Austin Finan said in a statement that the company disagrees with the “factual and legal allegations” in the FTC’s complaint and “will respond through the appropriate administrative process.”“We believe that our investment in Juul does not harm competition and that the FTC misunderstood the facts,” said Murray Garnick, Altria’s executive vice president and general counsel. He said he’s disappointed with the FTC’s decision and “believe we have a strong defense and will vigorously defend our investment.”Hotel MeetingAccording to the FTC’s complaint, in August 2018, executives and board members from the two companies, including Juul’s then-Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns and Altria CEO Howard Willard, met at the Park Hyatt hotel in Washington without any lawyers to discuss a deal. As talks continued that month, Juul made it clear that Altria had to exit the market, according to the complaint. When Altria tried to modify the non-compete terms, Juul “responded negatively and reiterated its demands,” the FTC said in the complaint.Negotiations stalled, and Altria executives knew they had to meet Juul’s insistence on not competing if talks were to restart, according to the complaint. In October, Altria’s Willard made assurances to Juul’s CEO and board members. What exactly he promised is redacted in the complaint. But Juul’s Burns forwarded Willard’s letter to Juul’s chief legal officer with a “simple note” and talks resumed.“Altria’s agreement to exit the relevant market eliminated one of JLI’s most dangerous rivals,” the FTC said, referring to Juul. “As a large, well-established, and well-funded company with long­ standing relationships and significant shelf space with retailers nationwide, Altria had the resources and infrastructure to drive sales and compete aggressively.”The FTC claims the companies cannot show the investment led to any efficiencies that would outweigh the lack of competition the deal resulted in. They also say the new contract the companies negotiated in January eliminated Altria’s marketing help, “further reducing the scope of theoretical benefits from the agreements.”Under the revised terms, Altria limited its help to advising Juul on a regulatory application seeking permission from the FDA to continue selling its e-cigarettes in the U.S. The changes also gave Altria a way out of the non-compete agreement should Juul’s application be denied.Altria noted that just before it announced the deal in December 2018, it said it was withdrawing its e-cigarette products for reasons other than youth appeal. It cited “the current and expected financial performance of these products,” as well as regulatory restrictions.And according to the final deal’s non-compete clause, Altria could keep competing with Juul’s products via its Green Smoke and MarkTen and MarkTen Elite brands, subject to certain conditions.(Updates with details from the complaint and background starting in the ninth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Cronos Group (TSX:CRON) Stock: 1 Management Decision That Delays Growth in the U.S. Market
    The Motley Fool

    Cronos Group (TSX:CRON) Stock: 1 Management Decision That Delays Growth in the U.S. Market

    Cronos Group’s stock price's growth prospects may be limited by one small piece of information today.The post Cronos Group (TSX:CRON) Stock: 1 Management Decision That Delays Growth in the U.S. Market appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

  • Why AbbVie (ABBV) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio
    Zacks

    Why AbbVie (ABBV) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

    Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does AbbVie (ABBV) have what it takes? Let's find out.

  • AbbVie Stock Falls 3%
    Investing.com

    AbbVie Stock Falls 3%

    Investing.com - AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) Stock fell by 3.10% to trade at $72.71 by 14:05 (18:05 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

  • Constellation Brands (STZ) Tops Q4 Earnings & Sales Estimates
    Zacks

    Constellation Brands (STZ) Tops Q4 Earnings & Sales Estimates

    Constellation Brands (STZ) reports strong fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results, driven by continued strength in the beer business and gains in the wine & spirits segment.

  • Aurora Cannabis (ACB): Strong Industry, Solid Earnings Estimate Revisions
    Zacks

    Aurora Cannabis (ACB): Strong Industry, Solid Earnings Estimate Revisions

    Aurora Cannabis (ACB) has seen solid earnings estimate revision activity over the past month, and belongs to a strong industry as well.

  • Altria Stock Rises 3%
    Investing.com

    Altria Stock Rises 3%

    Investing.com - Altria (NYSE:MO) Stock rose by 3.04% to trade at $37.30 by 09:57 (13:57 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

  • Bloomberg

    FTC Challenge Gives Altria a Chance to Walk Away From Juul Stake

    (Bloomberg) -- With U.S. antitrust authorities suing to reverse Altria Group Inc.’s investment in Juul Labs Inc., the Marlboro maker may be getting a chance to undo the troubled deal, according to industry analysts. They warn, however, that investors’ faith in the company may be difficult to restore.The late 2018 deal that’s being challenged by the Federal Trade Commission was supposed to combine Altria’s marketing might with Silicon Valley upstart Juul. Instead, Altria has written down the investment twice, slashing the 35% stake’s value to $4.2 billion in January as health concerns about e-cigarettes led to a regulatory crackdown. Altria originally paid $12.8 billion for the position.Altria, which wants to expand its e-cigarette market share as traditional smoking rates decline, says it will defend the deal. But maybe it shouldn’t, experts say.Here’s what analysts are saying after the FTC filed its complaint.Morgan Stanley, Pamela KaufmanAltria’s stake is now essentially a call option on Juul, Kaufman says, giving the cigarette company a potential out if Juul fails to secure regulatory approvals for its products and the rise in youth vaping fails to reverse.“Given the elevated uncertainty that Juul continues to face, we think investors would take a potential Juul divestiture in stride and could be relieved if MO were to distance itself from the company,” Kaufman wrote, referring to Altria by its stock market ticker.Jefferies, Owen BennettGiven the trial isn’t set to start until early 2021, there’s unlikely to be an outcome anytime soon, Bennett wrote. However, the FTC action will likely support investor class action lawsuits that Altria failed to investigate Juul sufficiently before going ahead with the deal.“We have spoken to a number of investors that have said they won’t invest in MO with current management, their credibility taking a big dent following the Juul investment,” Bennett said. Their concerns focus on Altria taking a stake in spite of reports of teenage usage, “therefore allegations of anti-competitive behavior alongside this is likely to dent confidence further.”Bennett notes that Altria’s other recent investment of $1.8 billion for a 45% stake in cannabis company Cronos is now only worth $800 million.Bernstein, Callum ElliottThe FTC challenge “introduces even more risk/uncertainty into an already clouded outlook,” Elliott said. If Altria is forced to unwind its investment it could leave the company with no exposure to vaping, since it already discontinued its own e-cigarette business, he said.That could force it to do yet another deal for access to vaping products. “Investors with whom we speak shudder at the thought of yet more M&A and capital mis-allocation after the Juul debacle,” Elliott wrote.Citigroup, Adam SpielmanIf Altria is forced to sell its stake in Juul, it would undermine the company’s stated strategy to lead smokers to switch to non-combustible products. Altria lacks the research and development capabilities to develop a substitute, Spielman said in a note to clients.Altria would likely be forced to ask Philip Morris International Inc., which sells the Marlboro brand overseas, for a license for its Mesh e-cigarette product, Spielman said. “The trouble is it is unclear when Mesh will be authorized for U.S. marketing, what terms MO would be able to negotiate, or even how good the product is,” he said. “MO would also end up being even more dependent on PM.”Stifel, Christopher Growe“It is not clear to us how this transaction can be unwound.” At the same time, the steady drumbeat of negative headlines around Juul over the last year means that if Altria is forced to divest its stake, it’s unlikely to impact earnings or share performance.“We believe some investors view this stake negatively –- as a potential albatross for Altria,” Growe said. “To that end, unwinding the transaction would be welcome news for many of those investors.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Implied Volatility Surging for Corbus (CRBP) Stock Options
    Zacks

    Implied Volatility Surging for Corbus (CRBP) Stock Options

    Investors need to pay close attention to Corbus (CRBP) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • Market Crash 2020: Why Are These Canadian Stocks Down So Much?
    The Motley Fool

    Market Crash 2020: Why Are These Canadian Stocks Down So Much?

    Stocks unfairly punished by today's market crash include Rogers Sugar (TSX:RSI), Molson Coors (TSX:TPX.B)(NYSE:TAP), and Northwest Healthcare REIT (TSX:NWH.UN). The post Market Crash 2020: Why Are These Canadian Stocks Down So Much? appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of CRBP earnings conference call or presentation 12-Mar-20 12:30pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc Earnings Call

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of CRON earnings conference call or presentation 30-Mar-20 9:30pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Cronos Group Inc Earnings Call

  • U.S. sues to force Altria to unwind investment in Juul
    Reuters

    U.S. sues to force Altria to unwind investment in Juul

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint aimed at forcing Marlboro maker Altria Group to sell its investment in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. The FTC has probed Altria's decision to buy a 35% stake in Juul, announced in December 2018, for $12.8 billion (10.33 billion pounds). The value of the investment has dwindled to $4.2 billion, following a series of writedowns last year, as Juul faced litigation and heightened regulatory scrutiny over its contribution to a surge in teenage vaping.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UBER, ZM, MSFT, STZ and CGC
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UBER, ZM, MSFT, STZ and CGC

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UBER, ZM, MSFT, STZ and CGC

  • Baystreet

    Stocks in play: The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.

    Has entered into a $30-million secured revolving credit facility with a private lender that is secured ...

  • Asahi wins conditional Australia nod for $11 billion AB InBev unit buy
    Reuters

    Asahi wins conditional Australia nod for $11 billion AB InBev unit buy

    Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Wednesday it has approved the deal after Asahi gave a court-enforceable undertaking to sell AB InBev's Stella Artois and Beck's beer brands and the Strongbow, Bonamy's and Little Green cider brands. An Asahi spokesman confirmed that the company agreed to the divestments for its planned purchase of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) closed at $0.91, marking a +1.97% move from the previous day.

  • Buy this High-Yield Large Cap Pharma Stock for Income Amid Coronavirus
    Zacks

    Buy this High-Yield Large Cap Pharma Stock for Income Amid Coronavirus

    AbbVie (ABBV) stock popped on Tuesday. This is part of the global pharmaceutical giant's larger 20% surge in the last week as the market tries to mount a comeback amid the coronavirus uncertainty...

  • AbbVie (ABBV) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    AbbVie (ABBV) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    AbbVie (ABBV) closed the most recent trading day at $76.11, moving +1.16% from the previous trading session.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Novartis, Teva, Gilead and AbbVie
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Novartis, Teva, Gilead and AbbVie

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Novartis, Teva, Gilead and AbbVie

  • Cannabis company CannTrust Holdings obtains CCAA protection from creditors
    The Canadian Press

    Cannabis company CannTrust Holdings obtains CCAA protection from creditors

    VAUGHAN, Ont. — CannTrust Holdings Inc. says it has obtained protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act as it works resolve issues related the suspension of its licenses to produce and sell cannabis.The company has been under fire since it disclosed last year that Health Canada had discovered illicit cultivation in unlicensed rooms at its Pelham, Ont., greenhouse.CannTrust says the court protection from creditors will allow it to complete its remediation plan for its Vaughan facility without disruption and submit the related evidence package to Health Canada.It says creditor protection will also allow it to explore a plan to deal with the multiple class actions and other litigation brought against the company in the wake of its disclosures last year.CannTrust says its board determined that commencing CCAA proceedings was in the company's best interests after reviewing a number of options.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:TRST) The Canadian Press