In this article, I will attempt to make a parallel between the great Sean Parker (no, not Justin Timberlake) and Mark Zuckerberg, and Philip Morris (PM) and Altria (MO). It may fail miserably, but hopefully you will see where I am going with it.
I remember reading an article somewhere on Tech RockStar Sean Parker where he was specifically asked about what he learned from his time with Napster. The exact quote eludes me, but it was along the lines of he learned how to be a good lawyer. That is, he gained invaluable experience in patent infringement, corporate law, and high-powered litigation.
This, in turn, prepared him for his future launch of the music platform Spotify, which I feel will change the face of the music world. His influence in this aspect also is evident in his short tenure at Facebook and his influence on Zuckerberg. It is obvious that Zuckerberg has played his cards like a shark likely listening intently to what Parker has told him.
He was joking about the lawyer comment, but there is alot of truth in that coy statement. I feel this is where Phillip Morris will be greatly advantaged by the experience of Altria in this department. I am speculating and this is completely my opinion, but I could imagaine it was probably one of the main reasons for the spinoff in the first place.
Altria has faced and will continue to face countless legal battles domestically and has formed many legal precedents that PM will be able to draw from in the coming years when developing countries get a taste for litigation like current-day America.
The spinoff also sheltered PM from any continued litigation domestically from the U.S. These are smart people, my friends. I would put their legal department up against any entity. And as the movie title goes and as an investor, "Thank you for Smoking".
Although I do not smoke myself, PM is my stock of the next decade.
Disclosure: I am long PM.