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Imperial Tobacco may become a take-over target, Citi says

Tue, 15th Dec 2015 11:25

(ShareCast News) - There was a "material chance" that Imperial Tobacco would become a buy-out target, more so given its relatively low exposure to risks from emerging markets, Citi said.

It also enjoyed rapidly growing dividends and its shares were trading on a low price-to-earings multiple, analyst Adam Spielman said.

That low EM-risk also meant its earnings were "much less at risk" than at other large-cap consumer staples.

The cigarette manufacturer also had cost savings with which to plug any "operating gaps" and the broker was confident it could continue to grow its dividends at a 10% clip.

Imperialīs underlying business in the US, in particular, was also improving.

"There's a material chance it will be bid for [...] the more BAT believes EM exposure is no longer an advantage, the more likely it is to bid," Spielman added in a research report sent to clients entitled "A Buy for Uncertain Times".

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