Altria Higher on Q3 Beat and Raise

Oct.17.07 | About: Altria Group, (MO)

Altria reported third-quarter net income declined 8.4% to $2.63 billion, or $1.24/share, but when adjusting for its spinoff of Kraft, net income was up 19%. Adjusted EPS of $1.21 topped the Street's $1.14 estimate. Revenues rose 8.9% to $19.2B. Altria raised its full-year EPS forecast to $4.20 to $4.25, back to what it was earlier this year before lowering it to $4.05 to $4.10 in July. Sales at Philip Morris USA were up 3.2% to $4.0B and grew 9.3% to $5.9B at PM International. Domestic price increases are helping offset declining shipments. Domestic demand for Marlboro pushed the brand's market share up 0.5% to a record 41.1%, giving Altria a record 50.6% (+0.2%) overall retail share. Altria's revised full-year outlook is attributed to +0.08/share reflecting a lower tax rate, +0.04/share positive forex impact and +0.03/share for improved results. Altria said its Board intends to announce details of its planned spinoff of PM International on Jan. 30 at its regularly scheduled meeting. Altria's earnings conference call is at 9:00 A.M. (check later for Altria's earnings call transcript). Shares of Altria gained 0.5% to $70.74 on Tuesday and were last up 1% to $71.45 in thin pre-market trading.

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