Altria earnings and revenue both fell short of analysts’ expectations for the first quarter.
The tobacco company’s adjusted earnings came in at 90 cents a share, compared to Wall Street estimates of 92 cents. The earnings were also lower compared to the year-ago quarter’s 95 cents a share.
Revenue of $4.39 billion was lower than analysts’ expectations of $4.59 billion for the quarter.
Howard Willard, Altria's chairman and CEO indicated that the company had incurred higher interest expense from its recently issued debt, and that it did not realize – through most part of the quarter - the full benefit of savings from its cost reduction program. He blamed these forces for the decline in Altria’s first quarter adjusted diluted EPS.
The company reaffirmed its forecast of 4% to 7% growth in adjusted per-share earnings for the full-year 2019.