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Altria Group Reaffirms Earnings Guidance; Authorizes Share Buyback Program

Altria Group, Inc. (MO) said it delivered second quarter adjusted earnings per share growth of nearly 9%, driven by its core tobacco businesses. The company's 2019 plans remain on track, and reaffirmed 2019 guidance for adjusted earnings per share growth of 4% to 7%.

For the second-quarter, adjusted EPS increased 8.9% to $1.10. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $1.11, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Second-quarter net revenues increased 5.0% to $6.6 billion, primarily due to higher net revenues in the smokeable products segment. Revenues net of excise taxes increased 6.4% to $5.2 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $5.09 billion for the quarter.

Altria's Board authorized a new $1 billion share buyback program, which it plans to complete by the end of 2020. The company repurchased 3.7 million shares in the second quarter at an average price of $52.93 per share, for a cost of $195 million.

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