Down in Smoke

Once venerated, Philip Morris is now loathed. But moral issues aside, the stock is inviting

A guy I've known for years who recently left tobacco company R.J. Reynolds said an odd thing to me last week. He's about to roll his 401(k) assets into an IRA, where at last he'll have a pool of money to buy individual stocks. So what's the first thing he plans to buy? No dot bombs for him. A large chunk will go into shares of Philip Morris, his former arch nemesis and a company that Business Week has dubbed America's most reviled--quite a fall from FORTUNE's most admired list of 1990.

Given that this industry seems a court case away...

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