Altria Rewards Shareholders: Fool by Numbers

On Jan. 31, tobacco tycoon Altria (NYSE: MO  ) released fourth-quarter 2006 earnings for the period ended Dec. 31, 2006.

  • Revenues grew about as fast as the U.S. economy, but tighter expense control led to wider margins and much greater growth in profits.
  • The lower cash balance shouldn't alarm you too much -- that cash was essentially used to pay down a significant fraction of long-term debt.
  • In other news, Altria is about to spin off its 89% stake in Kraft, giving Altria owners 0.7 shares for each MO stub.

(Figures in millions, except per-share data)

Income Statement Highlights

Q4 2006

Q4 2005

Change

Sales

$25,398

$24,490

3.7%

Net Profit

$2,959

$2,289

29.3%

EPS

$1.40

$1.09

28.4%

Diluted Shares

2,110

2,098

0.6%



Get back to basics with a look at the income statement.

Margin Checkup

Q4 2006

Q4 2005

Change*

Gross Margin

31.8%

32.5%

(0.7)

Operating Margin

17.4%

15.9%

1.6

Net Margin

11.7%

9.4%

2.3

*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine. See how they work.

Balance Sheet Highlights

Assets

Q4 2006

Q4 2005

Change

Cash + ST Invest.

$5,020

$6,258

(19.8%)

All other current assets

$21,132

$19,523

8.2%



Liabilities

Q4 2006

Q4 2005

Change

Long-Term Debt

$13,379

$15,653

(14.5%)



Learn the ways of the balance sheet.

Cash Flow Highlights
Ol' Mo didn't hand out any cash flow statements today. Let's egg his barn!

Find out why Fools always follow the money.

Related Companies:

  • British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI  )
  • Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI  )
  • Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT  )
  • Carolina Group (NYSE: CG  )
  • General Mills (NYSE: GIS  )
  • Imperial Tobacco Group (NYSE: ITY  )

Related Foolishness:

Fool by Numbers is designed to give you the raw earnings information in a timely fashion, putting all the numbers you need in one easy-to-read place. But at The Motley Fool, we believe numbers tell only part of the story, so check Fool.com for more of our in-depth discussion of what the numbers mean.

Kraft is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation; read all about it with a free 30-day trial and a bowl of mac & cheese.

At the time of publication, Anders Bylund had no position in any company mentioned. He doesn't smoke, and doesn't chew tobacco, but if he had $1,000,000, he'd eat more Kraft dinners. Fool rules are here.


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