Apr 15, 2019

Altria's Juul acquisition hasn't been great for its stock

Data: Investing.com, Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Rite Aid announced Thursday it will stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping products in all of its stores (more than 2,400 of them) because of concerns that they are behind the increase in tobacco use among middle and high school students. Rite Aid will continue to sell regular tobacco products.

What's happening: The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, released in January, found a 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48% increase in middle school students. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he would consider taking e-cigarettes off the market if companies continued marketing aggressively to young people.

Why it matters: Rite Aid's decision is the latest bit of bad news for Altria, which paid $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in e-cigarette juggernaut Juul.

  • On Jan. 22, a Morgan Stanley analyst downgraded the stock, warning that the accelerating decline in cigarette volume would negatively impact Altria. The stock fell 6.9%, according to data from Investing.com.
  • On April 3, the FDA said it was investigating 35 cases between 2010 and 2019 of people who suffered seizures after vaping. The stock fell 4.8% after a 1.8% slide the previous day.

Go deeper: Juul employees upset over possible Altria deal

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Go deeperArrow11 mins ago - Sports

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health