Are Philip Morris’ Most Supportive Investors Concerned About Norway’s Market?

For the year-to-date, Philip Morris International, Inc.’s (NYSE:PM) shares are up 4.37 percent. On Monday, the company sued Norway over claims that the country’s ban of store cigarette displays is a violation of European competition rules. Its court case opened in Oslo’s district court and will likely continue through June 13.

In a statement by Philip Morris spokesperson Anne Edward, she said, “The reason that we filed (the suit) is that if you can’t show your products in stores, which is the case in Norway now, clearly it becomes pretty difficult to compete in the market … with what in the end is a legal product.”

Norway banned the displays back in 2010 as a means to decrease impulse buys of tobacco products, according to AFP.

With the company’s lawsuit, will its largest shareholders decrease their holdings? 1315 institutional firms indicated owning shares of Philip Morris International, Inc. (NYSE:PM) in Q1 2012. These firms reported owning a total of 1.149 billion shares on 03/31/2012. The shares closed at $88.61 on 03/31/2012.

Here are the ten largest positions in Philip Morris International, Inc. at the end of March 31st, 2012.

Capital Research Global Investors held 114,444,712 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $10,140,946,000. This brought the portfolio total to 4.31%.

Vanguard Group Inc held 74,671,350 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $6,616,628,369. This brought the portfolio total to 0.89%.

State Street Corp held 73,607,404 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $6,522,352,113. This brought the portfolio total to 1.0%.

Capital World Investors held 51,243,000 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $4,540,642,261. This brought the portfolio total to 1.6%.

Blackrock Institutional Trust Company N.A. held 44,431,450 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $3,937,070,812. This brought the portfolio total to 0.9%.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp held 26,265,804 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $2,327,412,908. This brought the portfolio total to 0.89%.

Sarofim Fayez held 25,592,217 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $2,267,726,364. This brought the portfolio total to 6.61%.

Massachusetts Financial Services Co /MA/ held 24,938,251 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $2,209,778,436. This brought the portfolio total to 2.08%.

Wellington Management Co LLP held 24,284,179 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $2,151,821,116. This brought the portfolio total to 0.76%.

Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC held 21,916,982 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $1,942,063,788. This brought the portfolio total to 3.82%.

About the company: Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, affiliates and their licensees, produces, sells, distributes, and markets a wide range of branded cigarettes and tobacco products in markets outside of the United States of America. The Company’s portfolio comprises both international and local brands.

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