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Reynolds American's (RAI) Q1 Earnings, Sales Meet Estimates

Reynolds American Inc. RAI is one of the leading manufacturer and seller of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products in U.S. and owns popular brands like Camel and Pall Mall.

Reynolds has seen soft cigarette shipment volume trends for the past few quarters, due to a general shift away from tobacco products resulting from accelerating prices of cigarettes and worldwide anti-tobacco campaigns.

The company is thus putting greater focus on the growing electronic cigarettes to boost sales. Reynolds completed its nationwide expansion of its e-cigarette brand Vuse which affected sales positively. The merger between Reynolds and Lorillard Inc. completed in June 2015 has consolidated the tobacco industry and increased growth opportunities for Reynolds in the tobacco category.

Investors should also note that earnings estimate for RAI has been revised upward during the last 30 days. RAI has a mixed history when it comes to recent earnings reports as the stock has posted positive surprise in three of the last four quarters and negative surprise in one, with an average positive surprise of 3.00%.

Currently, RAI has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), but that could definitely change following Reynolds' earnings report which was just released. We have highlighted some of the key stats from this just-revealed announcement below:

Earnings: RAI posts in line earnings. Our consensus earnings estimate called for EPS of $0.50/share, same as that reported by the company. Investors should note that these figures take out stock option expenses.

Revenues: RAI reported revenues of $2.91 billion. This was in line with our consensus estimate.

Key Stats to Note: Operating Income increased 72.4% year over year.

Reynolds increased dividend by 16.7%.

Stock Price: Inactive in pre-market trading

Check back later for our full write up on this RAI earnings report later.

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