<p><H1>Analyst: Tobacco giant set to introduce Newport co </H1></p> <p>A tobacco industry analyst says that Philip Morris USA, the country's No. 1 cigarette maker, is poised to introduce a <a href="http://cigline.net/?action=discount&cigarettes=Marlboro&prod=24">Marlboro</a>-branded menthol that will compete directly with Newport.</p> <p>Newport, made by Greensboro-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. (NYSE: CG - News), is the No. 1 menthol brand in the country and the No. 2 cigarette brand overall. No. 1 is Philip Morris' Marlboro.</p> <p>Bonnie Herzog, a tobacco industry analyst with Citigroup, said in a note to investors that industry sources have told her that Philip Morris plans to introduce "<a href="http://www.cigline.net/?action=news&discount=cigarettes&news=18">Marlboro Smooth</a>," which aims to compete with Newport.</p> <p>"Our contacts stated that in a consumer test, 40 percent of Newport smokers indicated they prefer the new Marlboro Smooth and would purchase it if they had the opportunity," Herzog wrote.</p> <p>She added that she anticipates the new brand will be sold at a lower introductory price for the first few months, and "then be aggressively discounted like <a href="http://cigline.net/?action=description&discount=cigarettes&prod=29">Marlboro Menthol</a>." </p> <p>The new brand could hit store shelves by February, she wrote. </p> <p>Philip Morris is a subsidiary of Altria Group (NYSE: MO - News), which is based in New York City.</p> <p>by The Business Journal</p>