easily exceeded analysts' third-quarter earnings estimates and raised its profit forecast for the full year.
Shares of Altria rose 0.7% to $71.20 in premarket trading Wednesday.
Net earnings fell to $2.63 billion, or $1.24 a share, from $2.88 billion and $1.36 a share in the year-ago period. However, excluding items, Altria earned $1.21 in the latest quarter, 7 cents better than expected.
Revenue climbed nearly 9% year over year to $19.21 billion.
For all of 2007, Altria boosted its outlook for earnings from continuing operations to a range of $4.20 to $4.25, up from its prior projection of $4.05 to $4.10.
Analysts are even more optimistic and are calling for $4.29.