Philip Morris Beats Estimates
By Cara Lombardo
Philip Morris International Inc.'s revenue rose in the latest quarter as sales of its heated-tobacco devices ramped up and it sold more cigarettes in the European Union.
The Marlboro seller's fourth-quarter revenue excluding excise taxes rose 19% to $8.3 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $8.1 billion.
Cigarette and heated-tobacco volume rose 3.8% to 212.1 billion units. Volume edged up 1.5% in the European Union, where the company gets the largest amount of revenue, but declined everywhere else. It slid by 3.7% in Latin America and Canada, 4% in Asia, and 2.1% in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa unit.
Philip Morris CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said in prepared remarks that the company's heated-tobacco device, IQOS, has shown "great promise" in Asia and other places where it has been launched and should have positive momentum in 2018.
Still, the company was dealt a setback last month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said there wasn't enough evidence that IQOS reduces the risks of tobacco-related disease, which Philip Morris had claimed. The company already sells the device in 29 countries and its U.S. partner, Altria Group Inc., hopes to sell it in the U.S. Philip Morris has said it is confident it can address the questions raised by the FDA committee.
In all, the company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $694 million, or 44 cents a share. Excluding a provisional tax charge of $1.6 billion and other one-time items, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.31, more than the $1.35 analysts had expected.
The company guides for 2018 net revenue growth of more than 8%, excluding excise taxes and currency. It expects earnings per share of between $5.20 and $5.35, up from $3.88 in 2017.
Philip Morris shares, down 2.7% over the past year, rose 1.6% in premarket trading.
Write to Cara Lombardo at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 08, 2018 08:08 ET (13:08 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.