Cash Returns to Shareholders - Share Repurchase Program
In August 2013, the Board authorized a $700 million expansion of Altria’s April 2013 share repurchase program from $300 million to $1 billion. During the third quarter of 2013, Altria repurchased approximately 4.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $34.75 for a total cost of approximately $156 million. As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, Altria had approximately $709 million remaining in the expanded program, which it expects to complete by the end of the third quarter of 2014. The timing of share repurchases depends upon marketplace conditions and other factors. The program remains subject to the discretion of the Board.
NPM Arbitration Panel Decision
As previously announced, on September 11, 2013, the arbitration panel presiding over the non-participating manufacturer adjustment (NPM Adjustment) dispute for 2003 determined that six of 15 states failed to diligently enforce laws that require escrow payments from the cigarette manufacturers that have not signed the Master Settlement Agreement (NPM Arbitration Panel Decision). As a result of this decision, Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA) expects to receive a credit of approximately $145 million, plus interest, against its 2014 Master Settlement Agreement payment obligation. PM USA recorded an increase of approximately $145 million in its reported pre-tax earnings for the third quarter of 2013.2013 Full-Year Guidance Altria reaffirms its guidance for 2013 full-year reported diluted EPS to be in a range of $2.57 to $2.62. Altria also reaffirms its guidance for 2013 full-year adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes the special items shown in Table 1, to be in a range of $2.36 to $2.41, representing a growth rate of 7% to 9% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $2.21 in 2012.