Altria Group Inc. (MO) - Get Report shares gained 3.3% to $49.40 by the close of trading on Thursday despite pedestrian fourth-quarter results after the company said that e-cigarette maker Juul topped $1 billion in sales in 2018, a five-fold jump from $200 million the prior year.
Altria purchased a 35% stake in the company in December 2018 for $12.8 billion, allowing the legacy cigarette-maker to get in on what many see as the future of tobacco smoking as traditional cigarettes fall out of favor.
"Altria enters 2019 with an evolved business platform that includes our strong core tobacco businesses and new strategic investments with tremendous potential for growth," said Howard Willard, Altria's chairman and CEO.
The company reported a profit of 95 cents a share on revenue of $4.79 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 95 cents a share on revenue of $4.81 billion.
Altria also forecast 2019 earnings between $4.15 and $4.27 per share.
Year to date, Altria shares have fallen about 2%.
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