Consumer Products

Why Philip Morris Seriously Expects 2020 to Be a Good Year

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) reported second-quarter 2020 results before markets opened on Tuesday. The tobacco products firm posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.29 on revenue of $6.65 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.46 on $7.70 billion in revenues. Consensus estimates called for EPS of $1.10 and revenue of $6.50 billion.

Comparisons with the second quarter of last year reflect pro forma results related to the deconsolidation of certain assets in late March of 2019.

Excluding currency exchange effects, the company reported EPS of $1.31. Gross profit fell by 44.2% to $4.47 billion and operating income fell by 14.3% to $2.73 billion. Net income dropped 16% to $1.95 billion.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic “is difficult to quantify” but the company has issued full-year guidance that reflects “like-for-like currency-neutral adjusted diluted EPS growth in the low-to-mid single digits.”

Philip Morris now expects EPS in a range of $4.84 to $4.99, excluding a currency exchange impact of $0.31 per share. The consensus analyst estimate for the year calls for EPS of $4.92 on sales of $28.71 billion. For the third quarter, analysts are looking for EPS of $1.35 and sales of $7.37 billion.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 7 authorized the company’s heat-not-burn IQOS technology as a modified risk tobacco product, enabling the company to market its IQOS products in the United States. IQOS is the company’s acronym for I Quit Ordinary Smoking.

Philip Morris said it has boosted its IQOS market share to 6.3% worldwide, excluding the United States. The company licenses its IQOS products to its sister company in the United States, Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO).

CEO André Calantzopoulos said the company expects “substantial user acquisition growth” internationally for its IQOS products and “strong industry volume recovery” for its tobacco products in the third quarter.

Shares traded up about 4.7% early Tuesday, at $76.21 in a 52-week range of $56.01 to $0.17. The consensus price target is $84.73, and the stock’s dividend yield was 6.42% as of last night’s close ($4.68 annualized).