Altria (MO) Cigarette Volumes Rise vs an Expected Decline - Morgan Stanley
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Morgan Stanley analyst Pamela Kaufman reiterated an Overweight rating and $52.00 price target on Altria (NYSE: MO) after the company reported Q2 EPS of $1.23, above consensus forecast of $1.18. Cigarette volumes were +1.4% YoY, ahead of consensus -1.6% driven by trade inventory movements. This declined -4.5% on an adjusted basis ahead of the -6.5% forecast.
The analyst stated "Overall, industry cigarette volumes were -5.0% YoY (vs. -2.0% in Q1) as the industry laps strong performance in 2Q20 of -2.0% during the height of the pandemic. Notably, Marlboro market share was +50 bps YoY and was +10 bps sequentially, while overall market share increased 10 bps YoY. Better volumes and solid pricing (+8.1% vs. MSe +8.0%) drove PM USA OCI +11.0% (vs. MSe +8.3%). Smokeless volumes were +1.0% on an adjusted basis (share -220bps YoY due to the growth in the modern oral category). Overall OCI grew 11.7% and was 4.4% above consensus."
Shares of Altria closed at $48.60 yesterday.
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