Altria looks to a future beyond cigarettes but investors aren’t cheering its $15 billion bet

Seth Wenig | AP Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. It’s getting harder to be a cigarette company. Altria knows that. Altria shelled out $14.6 billion to take large stakes in companies outside its traditional hold in cigarettes over the past two weeks — a 45 percent share of cannabis company Cronos and 35 percent stake in e-cigarette maker Juul. The latter, which valued Juul at $38 billion, prohibits Altria from taking a controlling interest for at least six years. Juul…

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