Altria Earnings Boosted By SABMiller Deal, Revenue Falls Short

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday it had net income of $10.276 billion, or $5.27 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $1.248 billion, or 64 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Net earnings were boosted by special items, including a pretax gain of $13.9 billion related to its combination with SABMiller Plc in which it owns a 9.6% stake. Adjusted for those items, the company had EPS of 68 cents, just ahead of the FactSet consensus of 67 cents. Revenue fell to $6.252 billion from $6.318 billion. Net of excises, revenue came to $4.7 billion. The FactSet consensus was for revenue of $4.8 billion. Looking ahead, Altria is expecting 2017 adjusted EPS to range from $3.26 to $3.32. Capex is expected to range from $180 million to $220 million. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are up 17% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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