philip morris cigarette manufacturingAltria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning. For the quarter, the tobacco company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.55 on revenues of $6.24 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.50 on revenues of $6.13 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.55 and $4.33 billion in revenues.

For the full year, Altria posted adjusted EPS of $2.21 on revenues of $24.62 billion, compared with EPS of $2.05 on revenues of $23.8 billion in 2011. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $2.21 on revenues of $17.4 billion.

The company's CEO said:

Altria grew its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share by 7.8% behind the business performance of our operating companies, complemented by higher earnings from our equity investment in SABMiller.

Altria owns about 27% of SABMiller, and while the company did add $0.01 to EPS in the fourth quarter to Altria's earnings, for the full year SABMiller special items cost shareholders $0.08 per share.

For 2013, Altria forecasts adjusted diluted EPS in the range of $2.35 to $2.41, including estimated special items from its investment in SABMiller. The consensus estimate for 2013 calls for EPS of $2.38 on revenues of $17.6 billion. For the current quarter, analysts estimate EPS at $0.53 on $4 billion in revenue.

Altria's shares are up 0.3% in premarket trading at $33.80 in a 52-week range of $28.19 to $36.29. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $36.10 before today's report.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Tobacco Tagged: MO

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