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Altria Group Inc.'s (MO) Q1 Earnings, Sales Beat Estimates

Altria Group Inc. MO is one of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products in the U.S.

Altria has seen soft volume trends for the past few quarters, due to a general shift away from tobacco products amid accelerating prices of cigarettes and worldwide anti-tobacco campaigns. The company is thus putting greater focus on the growing electronic cigarettes to boost sales. Altria has been expanding its Mark e-cigarettes nationwide after its successful launch in Aug 2014, in order to boost its sales.

Further, the company’s subsidiary, Nu Mark, launched another version of Mark Ten – MarkTen XL – and began shipping it to lead markets in Apr 2015. Also, Nu Mark started the expansion of Green Smoke e-vapor products into retail lead markets in June.

Investors should also note that MO has witnessed mixed estimate revisions during the past 30 days. Further MO has a decent history when it comes to recent earnings reports as the company posted positive surprises in two of the last four quarters and negative surprise for the remaining quarters with an average positive surprise of 0.40%.

Currently, MO has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), but that could change following Altria’s earnings report which was just released. We have highlighted some of the key stats from this just-revealed announcement below.

Earnings: MO beats on earnings. Our consensus earnings estimate called for EPS of 68 cents per share, and the company reported earnings per share of 72 per share. Investors should note that these figures take out stock option expenses.

Revenues: MO reported net revenues of $4.5 billion. This surpassed our consensus estimate of $4.47 billion.

Key Stats/Dev to Note: Shipment volume of Smokeable products gained 1.2% to 29.53 million units.

Altria reaffirmed its fiscal 2016 guidance. It now expects its 2016 adjusted EPS to be in a range of $3.00 to $3.05 per share, representing a growth of 7% to 9% from 2015.

Stock Price: Inactive in pre-market trading

Check back later for our full write up on this MO earnings report later!

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