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Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) today announced its 2012 fourth-quarter and full-year business results, and provided its 2013 full-year guidance for reported and adjusted diluted EPS.
"Altria delivered strong results and returns for its shareholders in 2012," said Marty Barrington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria. "Altria grew its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share by 7.8% behind the business performance of our operating companies, complemented by higher earnings from our equity investment in SABMiller."
"Despite a continuing, challenging external environment, our tobacco operating companies' premium brands had an excellent year as our companies continued investing in their long-term success," said Mr. Barrington. "These companies grew their adjusted operating companies income and gained retail share in cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco for the full year of 2012."
A conference call with the investment community and news media will be webcast on January 31, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Access to the webcast is available at altria.com.
Altria's companies made significant progress in 2012 on the current cost reduction program for its tobacco and service company subsidiaries by reducing headcount, consolidating certain facilities, improving business processes and pursuing other savings. These actions, with initiatives planned for 2013 as part of the program, give Altria confidence in its ability to achieve its goal of $400 million in annualized savings versus previously planned spending by the end of 2013.
Altria recorded net pre-tax restructuring charges totaling $271 million related to the current cost reduction program over the past five quarters, including net restructuring charges of $7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Altria has recorded substantially all the net pre-tax restructuring charges related to this program.
Cash Returns to Shareholders - Dividends
In December 2012, Altria's Board of Directors (the Board) declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.44 per common share. The current annualized dividend rate is $1.76 per common share. As of January 25, 2013, Altria's annualized dividend yield was 5.3%.