The agreement is subject to the approval of the arbitration panel in the NPM adjustment arbitration that is currently underway. In addition, states that have not joined in the agreement (non-signatory states) have raised objections with the arbitration panel and a number of non-signatory states have indicated that they may attempt to take action in state court to prevent the agreement from proceeding or to seek other relief with respect to the agreement. No assurance can be given that the arbitration panel will issue the order necessary for the agreement to proceed or that the objections or any other such actions by non-signatory states will be resolved in a manner favorable to PM USA. If the agreement proceeds, PM USA expects to record a corresponding increase in its reported pre-tax earnings. A more detailed description of the agreement is included in Altria's Current Report on Form 8-K filed December 18, 2012.
2013 Full-Year Guidance
While there are signs of modest improvement in certain economic indicators, we remain cautious about the 2013 business environment. Adult consumers remain under economic pressure as they face the end of the payroll tax holiday, as well as continuing, high unemployment. With a number of states facing budget shortfalls, tobacco products will remain a target for excise tax increases.
Altria forecasts that 2013 full-year reported diluted EPS will be in the range of $2.34 to $2.40. The forecast reflects estimated SABMiller plc (SABMiller) special items. The forecast does not reflect the potential impact of PM USA's agreement to resolve the NPM adjustment disputes discussed above.Altria forecasts that 2013 full-year adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes special items shown in Table 1, will be in the range of $2.35 to $2.41, representing a growth rate of 6% to 9% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $2.21 in 2012.
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