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, maker of tobacco brandsMarlboro, Skoal and Copenhagen, said profit grew 1.7% and sales grew20% in the third-quarter, though the latter largely reflected higherpricing on tobacco products and its acquisition of snuff producer UST.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday morning, revenuesincreased to $6.3 billion from $5.24 billion in the year-earlierquarter. But after excluding a federal excise tax, revenues came to$4.32 billion during the quarter.

Earnings jumped to $882 million, or 42 cents per share, ascompared to $867 million, or 42 cents per share, last year. Excludingitems brought adjusted third-quarter earnings sum to 48 cents pershare.

Forecasts pegged Altria to show earnings at 47 cents and sales at$4.66 billion, according to a survey of analysts from Thomson Reuters.

Looking ahead, the company raised the lower end its full-yearadjusted earnings per share range to $1.74 to $1.77 per share.Previously, Altria said the range would land between $1.72 and $1.77per share.

--Written by Sung Moss in New York

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