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Altria Affirms Adjusted-Earnings Outlook in Line With Estimates

Tobacco-products giant Altria reaffirms its 2020 earnings outlook in a range that covers Wall Street's expectations.

Altria Group  (MO) - Get Altria Group Inc Report, producer of Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco products, on Wednesday affirmed its 2020 earnings outlook.

Shares of the Richmond, Va., company at last check were off 0.3% at $40.36.

Altria affirmed that full-year adjusted diluted earnings would range $4.30 to $4.38 a share, a growth rate of 2% to 4% from $4.21 a share in 2019.

The FactSet consensus of Wall Street analyst estimates calls for earnings of $4.37.

Separately, Altria Group said it was participating on Wednesday in the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference. 

Chief Executive Billy Gifford and Chief Financial Officer Sal Mancuso will host virtual meetings with investors to discuss Altria's business fundamentals.

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In October, Altria Group beat Wall Street's earnings and revenue expectations even as the company took a $2.6 billion impairment charge related to its investment in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs.

Altria reported its net loss narrowed to $952 million, or 51 cents a share, from $2.6 billion, or $1.39, in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding non-recurring items, such as the Juul investment, adjusted earnings came to $1.19 a share, above the FactSet forecast of $1.16.

Revenue net of excise taxes rose 4.9% to $5.68 billion, beating FactSet's call for $5.53 billion.

Altria said at the time that year to date it had recorded charges of $50 million related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Total cigarette shipments came to 27.62 billion, down 0.4%. Marlboro shipments rose 0.7% to 24.26 billion. 

Juul’s new valuation was influenced by recent decisions to exit certain markets and related restructuring costs, Reuters reported, citing a memo to Juul employees from Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite.