News Summary: Altria 4Q Profit Up 32 Percent

By The Associated Press

CIGARETTE SALES: Marlboro maker Altria Group's fourth-quarter profit rose about 32 percent as it commanded higher prices for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and expanded its industry-leading share of the U.S. market.

THE NUMBERS: The owner of Philip Morris USA had net income of $1.1 billion, or 55 cents per share. That's up from $836 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. The results beat Wall Street expectations by a penny.

HEADWINDS: CEO Marty Barrington said customers are under economic pressure because of the end of the payroll tax holiday, as well as continuing high unemployment. Tobacco products also remain a target for tax increases as states grapple with budget shortfalls, he said.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform