Consumer Products

Philip Morris Cigarette Shipments Down 5.1%, Profits and Sales Okay

Paul Ausick

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 results Thursday morning after markets were open for trading. The tobacco products firm posted quarterly adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.37 on revenue of $7.8 billion. In the same period a year ago the company reported EPS of $1.24 on $7.89 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters had consensus estimates for EPS of $1.37 and revenue of $7.79 billion.

Currency translation effects cost the company $708 million in quarterly revenues. Excluding that effect, Philip Morris’s revenues would have been up 2.5% year over year.

The company forecast full-year 2014 EPS in a range of $5.02 to $5.12, compared with full-year 2013 EPS of $5.26. The forecast includes a $0.71 per share reduction due to currency exchange rates. The consensus estimate had called for full-year EPS of $5.40 on revenues of $30.78 billion.

Philip Morris also forecast spending $4 billion on share repurchases in 2014 and cost savings of $300 million.

The company’s CEO noted:

We confronted an extremely harsh operating environment in 2013. Within this context, we withstood the pressures well and delivered a solid financial performance. … The challenges of last year, including significant currency headwinds, are likely to persist into 2014 and are reflected in our full-year forecast for reported diluted EPS, along with significant expenditures behind the development of reduced-risk products. Our overarching objective remains our steadfast commitment to generously reward our long-term shareholders.

Philip Morris pays a quarterly dividend of $0.94, for a dividend yield of 4.8%. The company also repurchased 67.2 million shares of its own stock in 2013 at a cost of $6 billion. Philip Morris plans to spend $18 billion on share repurchases in a three-year program that began in the third quarter of 2012. So far the company has spent $8.9 billion on share buybacks.

The company’s shares were trading up about 1.7% at $78.17 shortly before noon on Thursday. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.28 to $96.73. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $91.00 before this report.