Earnings Preview: Altria Group

| About: Altria Group, (MO)

Altria Group Inc. (MO) is scheduled to report its Q2 2012 results on July 24, 2012, before the market opens. The street expects EPS and revenue of $0.57 and $4.49B, respectively.

In this article I will recap the historical results of the company, its latest EPS estimates vs. surprises, the latest news from MO and the news from its closest competitors.

Altria Group Inc. Revenue and Net Income History

Recent EPS Actuals vs. Estimates

The company has met or beaten analysts' estimates in the last four quarters. In the last quarter it reported $0.49 EPS, in-line with analyst estimates.

Altria Group Inc. EPS Historical Results vs Estimates

The consensus EPS estimate is $0.57 based on 13 analysts' estimates, up from $0.54 a year ago. Revenue estimates are $4.49B, up from $4.00B a year ago. The median target price by analysts for the stock is $35.00.

Average recommendation: Overweight

Source: Marketwatch

Latest News

  • On March 1, 2012, Altria Group Inc announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.41 per common share, payable on April 10, 2012, to shareholders of record as of March 15, 2012.
  • On February 22, 2012, Altria Group Inc reaffirmed fiscal 2012 guidance for reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $2.14 to $2.20. The forecast includes estimated charges of $0.03 per share related to asset impairment, exit and implementation costs primarily related to the cost reduction program announced in October 2011, and estimated charges related to SABMiller special items.
  • On January 27, 2012, Altria Group Inc announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael E. Szymanczyk, 63, has decided to retire; Altria's Board of Directors (Board) elects Martin J. Barrington, 58, to serve as Altria's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer , and David R. Beran, 57, to serve as Altria's President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective May 17, 2012; Mr. Barrington joins Altria's Board effective immediately.
  • On January 27, 2012, Altria Group Inc announced that for fiscal 2012, it expects diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.14-$2.20. The forecast includes estimated charges of $0.03 per share related to asset impairment, exit, integration and implementation costs primarily related to the cost reduction program announced in October 2011, and estimated charges related to SABMiller special items and expects adjusted diluted EPS which excludes special items will be in the range of $2.17-$2.23. According to I/B/E/S estimates, analysts were expecting the Company to report EPS of $2.19 for fiscal 2012.

Competitors

Lorillard (LO), Philip Morris International (PM), Reynolds American (RAI), Constellation Brands (STZ), and Vector Group (VGR) are considered major competitors for Altria Group and the table below provides the key metrics for these companies and the industry.

Altria Group Inc. key ratio comparison with direct competitors

The chart below compares the stock price changes as a percentage for the selected companies for the last one year period.

MO ChartClick to enlarge

MO data by YCharts

Competitors' Latest Development

  • On June 29, 2012, Constellation Brands Inc announced that for fiscal 2013, it expects diluted EPS guidance to be in the range of $1.93 to $2.03 per share. For the second quarter of 2013, it expects EBIT performance to come in below second quarter of 2012 by a mid single digit percentage.
  • On June 13, 2012, Philip Morris International Inc. announced a new three-year share repurchase program of $18 billion. It is anticipated that the new program will be initiated August 1, 2012, following completion of the existing three-year program of $12 billion which began in May 2010 and which will conclude ahead of schedule.
  • On May 7, 2012, Philip Morris International Inc. announced that Hermann Waldemer, Chief Financial Officer, has elected to take early retirement effective July 31, 2012.
  • On April 25, 2012, Lorillard Inc. announced that it has acquired all of the assets of blu ecigs, a U.S. electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) company for $135 million in cash. blu ecigs is the e-cigarette brand. blu ecigs will be a separate operating company of Lorillard and it is Lorillard's intention to retain blu ecigs' current management team and headquarters in Charlotte, NC.
  • On April 24, 2012, Reynolds American, Inc. reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 guidance for adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.91 to $3.01, excluding the restructuring charge.
  • On April 19, 2012, Philip Morris International Inc. revised, for prevailing exchange rates only, fiscal 2012 reported diluted EPS forecast to be in a range of $5.20 to $5.30. Excluding a forecasted total unfavorable currency impact of approximately $0.15 for fiscal 2012, reported diluted earnings per share are projected to increase by approximately 10% to 12% versus adjusted diluted earnings per share of $4.88 in 2011, unchanged from the earnings per share forecast provided on February 23, 2012.
  • On April 17, 2012, Reuters reported that Constellation Brands Inc has completed the sale of $600 million aggregate principal amount of 6% Senior Notes due 2022. The notes are senior obligations that rank equally with all of the Company's other senior unsecured indebtedness.
  • On February 9, 2012, Lorillard Inc. announced that its Board of Directors approved a 19% increase in the quarterly dividend on its common stock from $1.30 per share to $1.55 per share.
  • On February 9, 2012, Philip Morris International Inc. announced that it expects to report full year 2012 diluted earnings per share to be in a range of USD 5.25 to USD 5.35, at prevailing exchange rates, versus USD 4.85 in full year 2011.
  • On February 8, 2012, Reynolds American, Inc. announced that it expects adjusted EPS growth in mid- to high-single digits for fiscal 2012.

Technical Overview


The stock has a market capitalization of $72.87B and is currently trading at $35.81 with a 52 week range of $23.20 - $35.85. The stock's year-to-date performance has been 23.95%. It is currently trading above 20, 50 and 200 SMA.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Marketwatch, Finviz, Reuters.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.