Altria beats expectations for the most recent quarter and provides upbeat guidance

Altria Group Inc. MO, -1.12 percent reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and raised its profit guidance. Altria, based in Richmond, Va., reported net income of $1.624 billion, or 88 cents per share, down from $1.924 billion, or $1.03 per share, a year ago. Earnings per share adjusted to $1.09, a penny higher than the $1.08 FactSet consensus. Revenue decreased slightly to $6.255 billion from $6.304 billion, but remained above the FactSet consensus of $4.998 billion. Altria now anticipates adjusted earnings per share of $4.79 to $4.93 in 2022, compared to a FactSet consensus of $4.84. “Altria will continue to monitor economic conditions, including the impact of rising inflation, (ii) the impact of current and future COVID-19 variants and mitigation strategies, (iii) ATC dynamics, including tobacco usage occasions, available disposable income, purchasing patterns, and adoption of smoke-free products, and (iv) regulatory and legislative developments,” the company stated in a statement. Special items related to the company’s investment in Canadian cannabis company Cronos inc. CRON, -1.82 percent CRON, -2.01 percent and a change in the estimated fair value of its investment in Juul dragged down EPS in the fourth quarter. As of Dec. 31, the investment was estimated to be worth $1.8 billion. Shares were up 0.4 percent premarket and are up 18 percent year to date, outperforming the S&P 500 SPX, -0.15 percent, which is up 13%.

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Kathy Lewis

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