Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) today announced its 2013 second-quarter and first-half business results, and revised its guidance for 2013 full-year reported and adjusted diluted EPS based on its performance for the first half of 2013 and expectations for the second half of the year.
"Altria delivered solid financial results for the second quarter and first six months of 2013," said Marty Barrington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria. "The company's diverse business model delivered adjusted diluted earnings per share growth of 5.1% for the second quarter and 7.4% for the first half of the year."
"All three of our reportable segments delivered adjusted operating companies income and margin growth in the second quarter and first half," said Mr. Barrington. "Altria's companies also continue to innovate with new products for adult tobacco consumers. Nu Mark's plans for introducing
e-cigarettes into a lead market in August of this year are on-track."
As previously announced, a conference call with the investment community and news media will be webcast on July 23, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Access to the webcast is available at
Altria's current cost reduction program for its tobacco and service company subsidiaries remains on-track and is expected to deliver $400 million in annualized savings versus previously planned spending by the end of 2013.
Cash Returns to Shareholders - Dividends
In May 2013, 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 July 17, 2013, Altria's annualized dividend yield was 4.8%.
Altria expects to continue to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends by maintaining a dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted EPS. Future dividend payments remain subject to the discretion of the Board.