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Altria, Philip Morris End Merger Talks - Quick Facts

Altria Group, Inc. (MO) and Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) have separately announced their decision to end merger talks as they failed to reach an agreement. The companies have agreed to focus on launching IQOS in the U.S. as part of their mutual interest. IQOS is the only heated tobacco product with premarket authorization from the U.S. FDA.

Howard Willard, Altria's CEO, said: "We look forward to continuing our commercialization of IQOS in the U.S. under our existing arrangement."

Altria tightened its guidance for 2019 adjusted EPS to a range of $4.19 to $4.27 from a range of $4.15 to $4.27. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $4.18. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items. Altria also reaffirmed its 2019 domestic cigarette industry volume decline rate estimate.

Shares of Altria Group were up more than 3 percent in pre-market trade on Wednesday. Shares of Philip Morris were up more than 7 percent.

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