понедельник, 28 января 2013 г.

Altria’s Earnings Rely On Better Pricing For Smokes

Altria is scheduled to announce its fourth quarter earnings on January 25. The U.S.-based tobacco company posted strong results in the third quarter with 2% y-o-y growth in both revenues and gross margin. For the nine months ended September 2012, revenues and gross margin were up 4% and 9% y-o-y respectively. Revenue growth was led (in absolute terms) by smokeable products (up 2.1% y-o-y), followed by smokeless products (up 2.6% y-o-y). Revenue growth in both the segments was driven by higher list prices and higher reported shipment volume, partially offset by higher promotional investments and higher volume growth in discount brands. Effective cost management due to the ongoing cost reduction program added to the effect of higher list prices to push operating margins higher for the company.
Altria faces a declining market for cigarettes in the U.S. and is increasingly relying on its Marlboro brand that holds more than 40% of the market and pricing to drive revenue growth. The smokeless products segment on the other hand is performing quite well, and we believe that this division has the potential to drive overall growth in medium-long term.

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