Altria records $2.6 billion charge on JUUL investment, but adjusted profit tops expectations

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Shares of Altria Group Inc. rose 0.8% in premarket trading Friday, after the Marlboro cigarettes parent reported a narrower net loss, while the adjusted profit and revenue beat expectations. The net loss was $952 million, or 51 cents a share, after a loss of $2.60 billion, or $1.39 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a $2.6 billion impairment charge related to its investment in JUUL, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.19, above the FactSet consensus of $1.16. Altria also recorded a loss of 8 cents a share related to its stake in cannabis company Cronos Group Inc. during the quarter. For year to date, Altria has recorded charges of $50 million related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue net of excise taxes rose 4.9% to $5.68 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $5.53 billion. Total cigarette shipments slipped 0.4% to 27.62 billion sticks, while Marlboro shipments increased 0.7% to 24.26 billion sticks. Altria expects 2020 adjusted EPS of $4.30 to $4.38, surrounding the FactSet consensus of $4.33. The stock has dropped 26.1% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.5%.
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