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Altria’s SABMiller Investment Pays Off; Q3 Earnings Beat Expectations

Thursday, October 27, 2016 5:49
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cigarette-1239304-640x480Tobacco giant Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) this morning posted market-beating Q3 earnings and noted a recent alcohol investment has paid off nicely.

The Richmond, VA-based company reported Q3 EPS of $0.82, edging out Wall Street estimates of $0.81. Revenues rose 4.3% from last year to $5.19 billion, also topping analysts’ view of $5.11 billion.

Looking ahead, Altria reaffirmed its previously-announced full-year 2016 earnings guidance for EPS of $2.98-3.04. That range straddles Wall Street’s expectation of $3.01 per share for the year.

Altria, whose tobacco brands include Marlboro, Copenhagen, and Black & Mild, has been diversifying in recent years as tobacco usage steadily declines. The company has invested in e-cigarettes including its NuMark brand, and has also branched out into the alcoholic beverage world.

The company commented via press release:

“Our core tobacco businesses delivered solid income growth on the strength of their leading premium brands. We also continued to simplify business processes, streamline infrastructure and invest in important growth initiatives. And with the completion of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s business combination with SABMiller, we maximized the value of our SABMiller investment and expanded and extended our share repurchase program. Going forward, we continue to have a position in the global brewing profit pool as a significant shareholder in the new combined company.”

Altria shares rose $0.08 (+0.12%) to $64.60 in premarket trading following the report. Prior to today’s earnings release, MO had gained 10.84% year-to-date.


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