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An excitable day for BATS (even for a non-smoker like myself)

It is an exciting day at many levels, even if ‘the prime minister said it was too early to draw conclusions on the characteristics of Omicron but early indications were that it is more transmissible than Delta’. I see the FTSE 100 is within about 1% of its 2021 high, whilst the CAC 40 in France is even closer – and I won’t bore you with the observation about how close the S&P 500 in the US is to its goodness knows how many new highs this year. It is certainly all good fun for a certain type of investor.

EPIC BATS
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British American Tobacco shares continue to offer attractive total return hopes

Back in late April I wrote about the ‘US tobacco market shocker’ for companies such as Imperial Brands (IMB) and British American Tobacco (BATS), but argued that it was more of an opportunity than a threat HERE. British American Tobacco produced its first half numbers today and whilst there is plenty of difference between current rate and constant rate returns (thanks the rise of the pound against the dollar and related over the last year!), the company is still growing its underlying sales and profits. And whilst the US authorities were very grumpy concerning their desire to ‘ban menthol cigarettes, ban flavoured cigars build on previous flavour ban and mark significant steps to reduce addiction’, not only have the shares edged up since but sales and profits have continued to go up in both the US and around the world.

EPIC BATS
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British American Tobacco highlights there is resilience (and probably value) in vice

As I noted in early June, 'I know there has been a little bit of controversy between writers on this website about certain sectors, but allow me to double down on the tobacco space (as an investor naturally, I've never touched the horrible stuff personally)'. What followed was a value love-up for British American Tobacco (BATS), which complemented my positive positioning in Imperial Brands (IMB). In a world however of technology behemoth love, tobacco is not so much in favour...

EPIC BATS
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British American Tobacco is 'resilient and growing' (just a bit less than expected)...

Vice stock time again. I know there has been a little bit of controversy between writers on this website about certain sectors, but allow me to double down on the tobacco space (as an investor naturally, I've never touched the horrible stuff personally). Tom W and I both independently have recently expressed our enthusiasm towards Imperial Brands (IMB). Reading through a pre-close update from its London-listed peer British American Tobacco (BATS) today, I did wonder if the observation that it would be maintaining its 65% payout ratio dividend was a slight dig at the decision by Imperial to cut its own shareholder remuneration. It is not all laughs at BAT though...

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