The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Altria Group beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded, and GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly.
Margins contracted across the board.
Altria Group booked revenue of $4.35 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $4.23 billion. Sales were 5.0% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.14 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.50. The 12 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.49 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.41 for Q4 were 6.8% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.44 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 54.6%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 36.2%, 660 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 19.2%, 300 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.99 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.49.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $17.27 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.20.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 8,603 members out of 8,921 rating the stock outperform, and 318 members rating it underperform. Among 2,207 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 2,170 give Altria Group a green thumbs-up, and 37 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Altria Group is outperform, with an average price target of $28.55.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Altria Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.