‘Make-or-break’ time for tobacco firms

A number of pending court verdicts are keeping tobacco companies on edge

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The tobacco industry is facing yet another day of reckoning. According to a report recently released by Moody’s Investors Service, US tobacco companies are entering a “critical period”, in which several important court decisions could have potentially devastating effects on the large tobacco-makers, which in turn could have serious implications on their credit ratings.

“In the coming months, up until early 2005, various court rulings and jury verdicts could have the potential of decreasing or

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