On Oct. 28, 2021, Altria Group (MO) reported its third-quarter earnings for 2021. Revenue decreased, although did better than market estimates. Meanwhile, earnings came in below analysts' third quarter projections.
Pre-market today, MO stock fell 1.81%.
“Difficult” Year-Over-Year Comparisons
According to CEO Billy Gifford, the tobacco concern’s “businesses performed well against difficult year-over-year comparisons…” Gifford seemed encouraged by substantial retail share growth for on! (nicotine pouches) during the third quarter. The U.S. oral tobacco category share for on! increased to 3.0% during the quarter, which is an increase of 1.9 percentage points from the end of 2020.
Share Repurchase Program
Altria's board of directors authorized the expansion of the company's existing $2 billion share repurchase program to $3.5 billion, which is slated for completion by Dec. 31, 2022. “Following the expansion of the share repurchase program, Altria has approximately $2.5 billion remaining in the $3.5 billion share repurchase program.”
Narrowly Raising Guidance
Altria Group also announced it’s raising the lower-end of its full-year 2021 guidance, expecting to now deliver “adjusted diluted EPS in a range of $4.58 to $4.62,” which “represents a growth rate of 5% to 6% from a $4.36 base in 2020."