RICHMOND, Va. (
, the cigarette maker, said fourth-quarter earnings rose to $726 million, or 35 cents a share, from $679 million, or 33 cents a share, on an increase in income from its cigarettes business.
On an adjusted basis, earnings in the fourth quarter were 39 cents a share, a penny shy of the estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Altria said Thursday that operating companies income in its cigarettes segment rose 2.9% in the quarter to $1.2 billion.
Altria said it expects 2010 adjusted earnings of $1.85 to $1.89 a share. Analysts forecast earnings of $1.87 a share.
Altria said net revenue in the quarter rose 29.2% to $6.01 billion from $4.65 billion a year earlier. Analysts forecast revenue of $4.14 billion.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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