Altria Group’s (NYSE: MO) Q2 earnings fell short by 1 cent from the analysts’ estimates. However, revenue topped the predictions. The company reported adjusted EPS of $1.10 on revenue of $6.62 billion. Analysts had expected Altria to earn $1.11 per share on revenue of $5.09 billion. Altria maintained the earnings outlook for 2019.
During the pre-market trading session, shares of Altria turned to negative terrirory before trading up slightly for a short period of time.
Revenue for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, rose 5% year-over-year due to higher net revenues in the smokeable products segment. GAAP EPS increased 8% to $1.07, while non-GAAP EPS rose 9%.
Altria reaffirmed its full-year 2019 adjusted EPS guidance of $4.15 to $4.27, representing a growth rate of 4% to 7% from an adjusted EPS base of $3.99 in 2018.
The Richmond, Virginia-based firm now estimates full-year 2019 domestic cigarette industry volume to decline in a range of 5% to 6% compared to the prior estimated decline rate of 4% to 5%. This revision was due to increased adult smoker movement to the e-vapor category.
“We’ve maintained our focus on the adult tobacco consumer and believe that with our leading premium tobacco brands, U.S. commercialization rights to IQOS, investment in JUUL and pending transaction for on!, we are best positioned among tobacco peers to lead through a dynamic time in the U.S.,” said CEO Howard Willard.
Altria repurchased 3.7 million shares in the second quarter at an average price of $52.93 per share, for a cost of $195 million. Yesterday, Altria’s Board authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete by the end of 2020.
Altria stock, which plunged to a 4-year low ($42.40) in January this year, had advanced 2% since the beginning of this year and dropped 13% in the trailing 12 months.
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