For the sake of playing devil's advocate, consumer-goods editor and analyst Austin Smith takes a bearish perspective on Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), one of his own holdings. With its international focus, Philip Morris may be subject to rising currency costs as the dollar strengthens against most other currencies. Moreover, Australia recently mandated that all tobacco products must be sold in the same drab packaging that highlights smoking’s health risks, eliminating Philip Morris' branding power there. If other countries follow Australia's lead, Philip Morris will suffer. And as more restrictions are placed on domestic tobacco companies, Philip Morris may not be a wise investment looking forward. Beyond these three reasons, many investors may want to avoid the stock entirely for its classification as a "sin stock."
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