Here come the tobacco mergers

|By:, SA News Editor

Analysts thinks there could be a wave of consolidation in the tobacco industry as the slow growth rates seen in the industry appear to be here to stay.

The story of the week has been Lorillard (LO -1.7%) which is reportedly a target of Reynolds American (RAI -2.8%), but other linkups are expected.

The rapid emergence of e-cigarettes will play a factor in the M&A activity. The stance of various regulators will be critical in determining where companies place their bets.

Related stocks: MO, PM, BTI, ITYBY, ITYBF, PHJMF, JAPAF, SFIO, VGR, SWNG, SWMAF, SWMAY.