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Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE / Euronext Paris: PM) held its 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders today. Louis C. Camilleri, Chairman of the Board, addressed shareholders and answered questions. André Calantzopoulos, Chief Executive Officer, gave the business presentation, including an update of dynamics in key markets as well as the principal drivers for growth in 2014 and beyond.
“We remain very confident in our ability to achieve a 6% to 8% growth in currency-neutral adjusted diluted EPS in 2014 as we expect our underlying business performance to deliver stronger second and third quarter adjusted diluted EPS growth rates, ex-currency. Although we anticipate continued improvement into the fourth quarter, we will, however, face a more difficult year-on-year comparison,” said Mr. Calantzopoulos.
The company reaffirms its 2014 full-year reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) forecast to be in a range of $5.09 to $5.19, versus $5.26 in 2013, as previously announced on April 17, 2014.
Excluding the unfavorable currency impact, at the then prevailing exchange rates, of approximately $0.61 for the full-year 2014, and the estimated $0.03 per share restructuring charge in Australia, reported diluted EPS are projected to increase by approximately 6% to 8% versus adjusted diluted EPS of $5.40 in 2013. The adjusted diluted EPS of $5.40 in 2013 is calculated as reported diluted EPS of $5.26, plus a $0.02 per share charge related to discrete tax items and a $0.12 per share charge related to asset impairment and exit costs.
This forecast includes a productivity and cost savings target of $300 million and a share repurchase target of $4.0 billion. This forecast excludes the impact of any future acquisitions, unanticipated asset impairment and exit cost charges, future changes in currency exchange rates and any unusual events. This forecast also excludes the proposal to discontinue cigarette production in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands.