Altria Group (MO) Tops Q4 EPS by 1c, Revenues Beat; Offers FY21 EPS Guidance Below Consensus
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Altria Group (NYSE: MO) reported Q4 EPS of $1.02, $0.01 better than the analyst estimate of $1.01. Revenue for the quarter came in at $6.3 billion versus the consensus estimate of $4.98 billion.
“Altria delivered outstanding results in 2020 and managed through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our tobacco businesses were resilient and we made steady progress toward our 10-year Vision to responsibly transition adult smokers to a noncombustible future.”
“Our plans for the year ahead include accelerating investments in support of our 10-year Vision, which we expect to fund through the continued financial strength of our tobacco businesses. We expect to deliver 2021 full-year adjusted diluted EPS in a range of $4.49 to $4.62, representing a growth rate of 3% to 6% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $4.36 in 2020.”
Altria Group sees FY2021 EPS of $4.49-$4.62, versus the consensus of $4.63.
Altria expects its 2021 full-year adjusted diluted EPS to be in a range of $4.49 to $4.62, representing a growth rate of 3% to 6% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $4.36 in 2020. While the 2021 full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance accounts for a range of scenarios, the external environment remains dynamic. Altria will continue to monitor conditions related to (i) unemployment rates, (ii) fiscal stimulus, (iii) ATC dynamics, including stay-at-home practices, disposable income, purchasing patterns and adoption of noncombustible products, (iv) regulatory and legislative (including excise tax) developments, (v) the timing and breadth of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and (vi) expectations for adjusted earnings contributions from its alcohol assets.
Altria’s 2021 full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance range includes planned investments in support of its 10-year Vision, such as (i) marketplace investments to expand the availability and awareness of Altria’s noncombustible products, (ii) costs associated with building an industry-leading consumer engagement platform that enhances data collection and insights in support of ATC conversion to noncombustible products and (iii) increased noncombustible product research and development expense. Altria expects 2021 adjusted diluted EPS growth to come in the last three quarters of the year, primarily due to prior year comparisons, including one fewer shipping day for the smokeable products segment in the first quarter. Altria expects its 2021 full-year adjusted effective tax rate will be in a range of 24.5% to 25.5%.
Altria expects 2021 capital expenditures to be between $200 million and $250 million and depreciation and amortization expenses of approximately $250 million.
Altria expects 2021 cigarette industry volume trends to be most influenced by (i) adult smoker (AS) stay-at-home practices, (ii) unemployment rates, (iii) fiscal stimulus, (iv) cross-category movement, (v) the timing and breadth of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and (vi) AS purchasing behavior following the vaccine. Due to the uncertain timing and magnitude of each of these dynamics, Altria is not providing a cigarette industry outlook. Altria will continue to provide updates on the pandemic-driven and underlying AS behaviors observed in the category.
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