BAT - Plunges on Report U.S. Planning Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

* Decline is steepest since July 2017, sends stock to lowest
since Feb 2014
* Imperial Brands also slides, dropping as much as 5%
* U.S. menthol cigarettes account for 25% of BAT’s profits and a
potential move by the FDA to ban such products could further
cloud the company’s long-term earnings visibility, Morgan
Stanley analyst Richard Taylor writes in a note, maintaining an
equal-weight rating on the stock
* BAT stock down 9% at 8:17am in London, Imperial Brands down
4.1%, two biggest fallers on the U.K. FTSE 100 Index

* Morgan Stanley maintains its view on the European tobacco
sector to tread cautiously; sees “short-term bounces as
potential selling opportunities, rather than pullbacks as buying
opportunities,” until visibility improves