Before the opening bell on Friday morning, Altria Group (MO ) reported its fourth quarter results, posting higher revenues and earnings compared to last year’s Q4.
MO’s Earnings in Brief
- Altria Group reported fourth quarter revenues of $6.26 billion, marking a 2.9% increase over last year’s Q4 revenues of $6.08 billion.
- Net earnings for the quarter came in at $1.24 billion, or 63 cents per diluted share, up from last year’s Q4 figures of $488 million, or 24 cents per diluted share.
- On an adjusted basis, MO’s EPS came in at 66 cents, marking a 15.8% increase over last year’s adjusted EPS.
- Altria met analysts’ EPS expectations of 66 cents, while revenues beat the $4.5 billion expectation.
- Altria also announced that its president and COO Dave Beran will retire on March 1, 2015. He will be replaced as COO by Howard Willard, currently Altria’s Chief Financial Officer.
MO chairman and CEO Marty Barrington had the following comments: “In 2014, Altria delivered another year of strong business results and excellent returns for shareholders. We grew adjusted diluted EPS by almost 16% in the fourth quarter and by 8.0% for the full year, in line with our long-term EPS goal. We increased the dividend for the 48th time in 45 years. Altria also produced total shareholder return of 34.5%, well above returns for the S&P 500 and the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Index. Our business results were anchored by a very strong performance in the smokeable products segment, complemented by contributions from our diverse business model. We’re also pleased with the steady progress Nu Mark is making as it builds e-vapor category leadership; Nu Mark successfully executed its national launch of MarkTen, which is now available in over 130,000 retail stores.”
Altria paid its most recent quarterly dividend of 52 cents on January 9. We expect the company to declare its next quarterly dividend in the coming month.
Altria stock was inactive in pre-market trading. YTD, the stock is up 10.39%.
The Bottom Line
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