Imperial Brands share price: where next after CEO Alison Cooper set to exit

The British tobacco company halved its growth forecasts last week after warning that backlash from US regulators against vaping could dent revenues, prompting a hunt for a new CEO by disgruntled shareholders.

Imperial Brands share price has fallen more than 23% since January, with the company struggling to deal with challenging market conditions that have forced its to downgrade its full-year guidance.

In response, shareholders eager for strategic change to rectify the situation have called for new management, with Imperial Brands’ CEO Alison Cooper set to step down once a replacement is found.

Interested in trading tobacco stocks? Open a demo or live account with IG

Challenging times ahead for Imperial Brands

Imperial Brands downgraded its full-year revenue growth from 4% to 2%, with earnings per share flat year-on-year.

The company’s decision to revise its previous guidance reflects the challenges its next generation products (NGP) are facing in the US market, as well as its weaker performance more generally in Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Over the last quarter, Imperial Brands admitted that NGP sales have ‘deteriorated’ due to increased regulation from US regulators, with Massachusetts opting to temporarily ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

To offset weaker growth, the company is prioritising cost cutting measures, with it looking to raise £2 billion from its asset divestment programme by May 2020.

‘But reducing costs can't prop up profits forever,’ Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne, said. ‘Scale is the key to success in the tobacco industry, and as the smallest of the big-four tobacco giants, Imperial can ill-afford to lose ground.’

US vaping backlash will hurt big tobacco

The tobacco industry has invested heavily in next generation products (NGP) like e-cigarettes as a method of offsetting declining demand for traditional tobacco products.

But with the recent consumer and regulatory backlash brought about by a series of vaping-related illnesses that have claimed the lives of 11 people in the US, the industry is expected to see sales slump.

Last month, the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention even went as far to tell the public to avoid using e-cigarettes altogether.

IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign affiliates within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.

The information/research herein is prepared by IG Asia Pte Ltd (IGA) and its foreign affiliated companies (collectively known as the IG Group) and is intended for general circulation only. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation, and particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit.

Please see important Research Disclaimer.

Seize a share opportunity today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks.

  • Increase your market exposure with leverage
  • Get spreads from just 0.1% on major global shares
  • Trade CFDs straight into order books with direct market access

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.


Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 20 mins.

The Momentum Report

Get the week’s momentum report sent directly to your inbox every Monday for FREE. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming key events to monitor in the coming week, as well as commentary and insight from our expert analysts on the major indices to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.