For the fourth quarter, analysts are expecting Altria Group (MO) to post revenue of $4.81 billion, which represents a rise of 2.1% from $4.71 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2017. The revenue growth would likely be driven by favorable pricing variance in both smokable and smokeless products. The company is also focusing on innovative product development and packaging, enhanced trade programs, and various marketing and promotional initiatives to drive its sales.
In the first quarter of 2018, Marlboro Ice expanded across the US. The product featured an innovative reseal pack, which was received well by customers. After the success of Marlboro Ice, Altria plans to implement its innovative reseal pack to other product offerings like Marlboro Smooth. The company is also expanding its digital reach and brand engagement through Marlboro Rewards to drive its sales.
Earlier this year, Nat Sherman, which manufactures and sells super-premium cigarettes and cigars, expanded across the Western United States, which is expected to contribute towards the company’s revenue growth during the quarter.
However, the increased state excise taxes in Kentucky and Oklahoma on July 1 and a decline in cigarette shipment volumes could negatively impact the company’s sales. Kentucky and Oklahoma account for 5% of the US cigarette industry volume.
During the same period, Philip Morris International (PM) is expected to post a revenue, net of excise tax, of $7.38 billion, which represents a fall of 11.1% from $8.29 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
Next, we will look at analysts’ fourth-quarter EPS expectations.