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Philip Morris Affirms Profit Guidance Ahead of Investor Conference

Philip Morris, the New York tobacco giant, affirmed its 2020 earnings guidance of $5.50 a share. That figure was short of analysts' consensus expectation of $5.58.
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Philip Morris  (PM) - Get Philip Morris International Inc. Report shares are rising after the tobacco giant affirmed its 2020 earnings guidance of $5.50 a share, short of analysts' consensus expectations of $5.58.

The company made the estimate before the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference in New York. 

Chief Executive Andre Calantzopoulos, Chief Operating Officer Jacek Olczak, Chief Financial Officer Martin King and Chief Strategy Officer Deepak Mishra were scheduled to address investors there.

The tobacco giant reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.62 billion, or $1.04 a share, compared with $1.91 billion, or $1.23, in the year-earlier period. The latest adjusted earnings came to $1.22, beating the consensus forecast of $1.21 from a FactSet survey.

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"We continue to make significant progress in the transformation of our business," Calantzopoulos said in a statement.

Smoke-free products now account for 8% of shipment volume and nearly one-fifth of net revenue, he said. The company's efforts further demonstrate its "ability to maintain combustible tobacco leadership internationally, as evidenced by Marlboro’s full-year cigarette share of 10% -- an all-time high."

"Although we anticipate a few temporary headwinds, notably in Indonesia, we enter 2020 with favorable momentum," Calantzopoulos said.

Philip Morris expects "to deliver like-for-like currency-neutral net revenue and adjusted diluted earnings-per-share growth this year consistent with our 2019 to 2021 compound annual growth targets of at least 5% and 8%, as well as further margin expansion."

The New York cigarette maker's stock rose sharply in the first 10 days of February, including the earnings report on Feb. 6, and has eased over the past week. At last check the shares were little changed at $87.31.