Loews has been slimming down. It's shedding its watches and tobacco units to focus on its namesake hotels and other units. Loews, which saw its...

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Loews has been slimming down. It’s shedding its watches and tobacco units to focus on its namesake hotels and other units.

Loews, which saw its shares gain 22.1 percent in 2007, agreed in October to sell Bulova Watches to Citizen Watch for $250 million.

In December, Loews said it would spin off Lorillard — with such cigarette brands as Newport, Kent and True — as a public company.

After announcing the spinoff, CEO James Tisch told analysts Loews has no plans to sell other subsidiaries.

As a stand-alone company, Lorillard likely would be an attractive takeover candidate, says JPMorgan analyst Erik Bloomquist.

For Loews, the deal cuts down on the risk of litigation, which should help improve its credit rating, says Citi Investment Research analyst Bonnie Herzog.

Rochdale Securities analyst Steven McSorley says Loews is more likely to buy businesses in the next couple of years than sell.

“They’re just savvy value investors,” he says. “You really can’t rule out this company going into an area that you at first might not expect.”