Shares of Philip Morris International Inc. rose 1.7% in light premarket trade Thursday, after the cigarette seller beat second-quarter profit and revenue expectations. Earnings grew to $1.89 billion, or $1.21 a share, from $1.85 billion, or $1.17 a share, in the same period a year ago. Total revenue fell 11% to $18.76 billion, while revenue excluding excise taxes declined 12% to $6.9 billion. The results were above the FactSet EPS consensus of $1.13 and revenue consensus of $6.75 billion. Cigarette shipment volume slipped 1.4% to 219.8 billion units, including a 1.1% drop in sales of its top Marlboro brand. For the full year, the company expects adjusted EPS growth, excluding the negative effect of currency movements, to be toward the upper end of its projected range of 9% to 11%. Separately, Philip Morris and Swedish Match said they dissolved their smokeless joint venture. Philip Morris's stock had lost 2.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.1%.
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