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Byline: Brian Louis
Dec. 9--Decisions in several major legal cases against the tobacco industry could highlight 2005 for Reynolds American Inc. and other major tobacco companies, Fitch Ratings said yesterday in a report.
"Favorable resolutions of the major cases in 2005 or beyond could result in upward ratings revisions for the major manufacturers," Fitch analysts Wesley Moultrie and Judith Malter said in an industry outlook for 2005.
But the analysts cautioned that if one of the cases results in an adverse multibillion-dollar judgment against a company or companies, and on appeal the judgment is not reduced substantially or reversed, it could lead …