Earnings: Altria Group Inc., Richmond

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Earnings: Altria Group Inc., Richmond

THE TAKE: Altria Group Inc. sold more cigarettes at higher prices in the third quarter, but reported a 44 percent drop in profit because of an $874 million expense on extinguishment of debt. Excluding special items, earnings per share increased 3.6 percent to 58 cents. Smokeable products revenue rose 2.1 percent during the quarter on higher sales prices and slightly higher volume that came from retail share gains and changes in inventories.

Revenue: $6.24 billion, up 2.2 percent from $6.1 billion in the third quarter of 2011
Profit: $657 million, down from $1.2 billion during the prior year
Diluted earnings per share: 32 cents per share, down from 57 cents per share
Special items: $874 million on extinguishment of debt; $10 million net pre-tax restructuring charges. Philip Morris USA incurred pre-tax charges of $3 million related to tobacco and health judgments.

THE COMPANY’S TAKE: “Altria delivered solid financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2012 while taking steps to strengthen its ability to create shareholder value in the future,” Marty Barrington, chairman and CEO of Altria, said in a statement. “Our tobacco businesses grew their adjusted [operating companies income], adjusted OCI margins and retail share for the third quarter and first nine months of 2012, while investing to develop their brands for the long term.”

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