Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) today announced its 2013 third-quarter and nine-month business results, and reaffirmed its guidance for 2013 full-year reported and adjusted diluted EPS.
“During both the quarter and the first nine months, our strategies and diverse business model continued to produce strong results,” said Marty Barrington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria. “Our businesses are on-track against their full-year plans, and Altria remains focused on creating long-term value for shareholders.”
“In addition to producing strong results in our core businesses, we’re developing innovative tobacco products for adult tobacco consumers,” said Mr. Barrington. “We’re pleased with Nu Mark’s lead market launch in Indiana of its MarkTen e-vapor products. Further, Nu Mark plans to expand distribution of MarkTen to Arizona in December.”
Conference CallAs previously announced, a conference call with the investment community and news media will be webcast on October 24, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Access to the webcast is available at altria.com. Cost Management 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 August 2013, Altria’s Board of Directors (Board) increased the regular quarterly dividend by 9.1% to $0.48 per common share versus the previous rate of $0.44 per common share. The current annualized dividend rate is $1.92 per common share. As of October 21, 2013, Altria’s annualized dividend yield was 5.3%. 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.