(By Balaseshan) Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) reported a 6.3% decline in quarterly earnings, due to lower volumes and revenue. Despite revenue missing consensus, adjusted earnings exceeded Street's expectations.
Earnings for the third quarter declined 6.3% to $2.23 billion. Adjusted EPS, excluding currency, increased 5.8% to $1.45, topping consensus estimate of $1.39.
Net revenue declined 5.3% to $7.92 billion, below market expectations of $8.25 billion. Excluding currency and acquisitions, revenue increased by 3.4%, driven by favorable pricing of $505 million, partly offset by unfavorable volume/mix of $223 million.
Revenue at European Union fell 5.2%, while Asia revenue declined 1.4%. Revenue at Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa marginally decreased 0.1%.
PMI's cigarette shipment volume was down in the quarter by 1.3%. Marlboro shipments fell 2.3% to 77.1 billion units, reflecting a decline in the EU of 5.8%, notably in France, Italy and Spain, partly offset by Germany and Poland, a marginal decline in EEMA of 0.5% and a decline in Latin America & Canada of 2.6%.
Looking ahead for the full year, the company narrowed its reported EPS guidance to range of $5.12 to $5.18 from prior expectations of $5.10 to $5.20.
Excluding items, the range is forecast to be $5.18 to $5.24 per share. Analysts now expect earnings of $5.20 per share.
"We expect to achieve our annual organic volume growth target of 1% in 2012 and our adjusted diluted EPS growth to be in line with our mid-to-long term constant currency annual growth target," said Louis Camilleri, Chief Executive of Philip Morris.
PMI increased its regular quarterly dividend during the quarter to $0.85, up by 10.4% from $0.77, which represents an annualized rate of $3.40 per common share. Since its spin-off in March 2008, PMI has increased its regular quarterly dividend by 84.8% from the initial annualized rate of $1.84 per common share.
PM shares, which have been trading between $65.36 and $94.13 over the past year, closed Wednesday's regular trading at $91.85.