Altria Group Reports Q3 Earnings Beat, Reaffirms Guidance

Altria Group Inc MO reported third-quarter earnings of $1.19 per share on Thursday, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $1.15.  

The tobacco company reported quarterly sales of $5.412 billion, topping the analyst consensus estimate of $5.34 billion. 

Altria reaffirmed fiscal year 2019 earnings per share guidance in a range of $4.19-$4.27 against a $4.19 estimate.

"Our core tobacco businesses delivered excellent third-quarter financial results," CEO Howard Willard said in a statement.

"Our 2019 plans remain on track, and we reaffirm our guidance to deliver full-year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS growth of 5% to 7%. We continue to believe the evolution of the tobacco industry represents a significant opportunity for Altria. We marked major milestones in our transformation journey this year, including launching IQOS and completing the on! transaction. We believe that, with current adult smoker trends and e-vapor disruption, it's an opportune time to expand the availability of these options."

In September the Food and Drug Administration warned Juul Labs for marketing unauthorized modified risk tobacco products — including to youth. Altria has a 35% stake in the e-cigarette manufacturer. 

Juul said earlier this week that it will lay off 500 employees by January in anticipation of damaging regulatory developments.

Altria shares were trading 1.54% higher at $46.67 in Thursday's premarket session The stock has a 52-week high of $66.04 and a 52-week low of $39.30.

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