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Altria Announces Cash Tender Offer For A Portion Of Its Long-Term Debt

Stocks in this article: MO

Altria reaffirms its 2012 full-year guidance for adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes special items shown in Table 1 below, to be in the range of $2.19 to $2.23, representing a growth rate of 7% to 9% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $2.05 per share in 2011. Altria anticipates adjusted diluted EPS growth to moderate in the second half of 2012 compared to the first half of 2012. Altria expects the debt tender transaction to impact 2012 third-quarter adjusted diluted EPS negatively, primarily due to an increase in Altria’s 2012 full-year effective tax rate on operations. Altria believes that adjusted diluted EPS performance will be stronger in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012.

The factors described in the Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements section of this release represent continuing risks to this forecast. Reconciliations of full-year adjusted to reported diluted EPS are shown in Table 1 below.

 
Table 1 - Altria’s Full-Year Earnings Per Share Guidance Excluding Special Items
   
  Full Year
2012 Guidance   2011     Change
Reported diluted EPS $1.96 to $2.00     $   1.64     20% to 22%
Loss on early extinguishment of debt 0.33 -

Asset impairment, exit, integration and    implementation costs

0.02 0.07
SABMiller special items (0.09 ) 0.03
PMCC leveraged lease (benefit) charge (0.03 ) 0.30
Tax items* - (0.04 )
Tobacco and health judgments -  

0.05

Adjusted diluted EPS     $2.19 to $2.23     $   2.05       7% to 9%

* Excludes the tax impact of the PMCC leveraged lease (benefit) charge.

2012 Full-Year Tax Rate Guidance

Altria anticipates that its 2012 full-year effective tax rate on operations will increase by one percentage point to approximately 37% due to a reduction in certain consolidated tax benefits resulting from the debt tender transaction. The factors described in the Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements section of this release represent continuing risks to this forecast. Reconciliations of 2012 full-year effective tax rate on operations to reported effective tax rate are shown in Table 2 below.

       
Table 2 - Altria’s Tax Rate      
Full Year
2012 Guidance
 
Reported Effective Tax Rate 35.9%
 

Interest benefit on tax underpayments associated with    PMCC leveraged lease transactions

1.2
 
Other tax items

(0.2)

Effective Tax Rate on Operations     36.9%

Dividend and Share Repurchase Program

Altria does not expect the tender for the Notes or the issuance of New Notes to impact Altria’s dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted EPS or its current $1.0 billion share repurchase program. Future dividend payments and the share repurchase program remain subject to the discretion of Altria’s Board of Directors.

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