affirmed previous earnings projections for fiscal 2000 through 2003 and said it expects to complete the acquisition of
by the end of the year.
Philip Morris said it expects full-year 2000 underlying earnings of $3.71 a share, in line with the nine-analyst estimate on
First Call/Thomson Financial
. The company earned $3.30 a share in the year-ago period.
The company also remains comfortable with its projected earnings per share growth rate of 11% to 13% through 2003, excluding the acquisition of Nabisco. The company also reiterated plans to make an initial public offering of between 10% and 15% of the combined
and Nabisco company in the first half of 2001.
Shares of Philip Morris were recently up $1.38, or 3.9%, to $36.63 in
New York Stock Exchange