Altria 2Q profit tops Street; raises full-year outlook

RICHMOND, Va. – Altria’s second-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates, helped by lower costs. The company also boosted its full-year adjusted earnings outlook.

Its shares edged higher in premarket trading.

The owner of cigarette maker Philip Morris USA earned $1.65 billion, or 84 cents per share, for the period ended June 30. A year earlier the Richmond, Virginia-based company earned $1.45 billion, or 74 cents per share.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains, were 81 cents per share. That’s a penny better than what analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for.

Marketing, administration and research costs, asset impairment and exit costs and general corporate expenses declined in the quarter.

Revenue excluding excise taxes was essentially flat at $4.88 billion.

Altria Group Inc. expects full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $3.01 to $3.07 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings of $3 to $3.05 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $3.05 per share.

Its shares rose $1.05, or 1.6 per cent, to $68.98 in premarket trading about 45 minutes ahead of the market open.

Besides cigarettes, Altria also sells several wine labels, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest and 14 Hands.


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