Altria profit beats as revenue falls short and company sticks with full-year guidance

Altria Group Inc. said Thursday it had net income of $1.424 billion, or 77 cents a share, in the first quarter, down from $1.552 billion, or 83 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.07, ahead of the $1.05 FactSet consensus. Revenue fell 5.1% to $6.036 billion from $6.359 billion. Revenue net of excise taxes came to $4.880 billion, just below the $4.976 billion FactSet consensus. “Against a challenging comparison, our tobacco businesses performed well in the first quarter and we continued to make progress advancing our non-combustible portfolio,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s Chief Executive, in a statement. The company said it has acquired full ownership of On! oral nicotine pouches as it moves beyond smoking in a world increasingly moving away from combustible tobacco. The company said it recorded a non-cash, pre-tax unrealized loss of $200 million as a result of a decrease in the fair value of JUUL, which was affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It said Canadian cannabis company Cronos was also hurt by the pandemic, which limited access to retail stories. The company said it still expects full-year adjusted EPS to range from $4.49 to $4.62. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $4.58. Shares were up 0.6% premarket and have gained 15% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average [ has gained 10.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 11.4%.

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