Philip Morris Earnings Up in Smoke

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Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) reported its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The firm said that it had $1.00 in earnings per share (EPS) on $6.9 billion in revenue, while consensus estimates had called for $0.90 in EPS on revenue of $7.04 billion. In the same period of last year, the cigarette maker said it had EPS of $0.98 and $6.06 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, cigarette and heated tobacco unit shipment volumes were down 2.3% to 173.8 billion, or by 1.1% excluding the net impact of total estimated inventory movements. This was the result of cigarette shipment volumes down by 9.3 billion units or 5.3% of 164.3 billion units.

Separately, heated tobacco unit shipment volume was 9.6 billion units, up by 5.1 billion units from 2017.

Looking ahead, the company expects to see EPS growth in the range of 35% to 39% for the 2018 full year. The consensus estimates are $5.27 in EPS on $31.97 billion in revenue for the year.

André Calantzopoulos, CEO, commented:

Our increased full-year EPS guidance reflects the benefit of a lower effective tax rate and incorporates, at this early stage in the year, some caution regarding: on-going volume challenges in the GCC; the pricing environment in Russia; and less-rapid-than-initially-projected growth in sales of devices to consumers in Japan in the first quarter, as we are now reaching more conservative adult smoker segments that may require, at least at first, slightly more time for adoption. Even if this temporary dynamic in Japan persists, we remain on track to double our worldwide in-market sales of heated tobacco units compared to 2017

Shares of Philip Morris closed Wednesday at $101.44, with a consensus analyst price target of $120.06 and a 52-week trading range of $95.51 to $123.55. Following the announcement, the stock was down over 4% at $97.05 in early trading indications Thursday.

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