Lorillard Earnings: Shareholders Light One Up

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE:LO) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the first quarter. Lorillard, Inc. manufactures and sells cigarettes and tobacco under the brand names of Newport, Kent, True, Maverick and Old Gold.

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Lorillard Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Lorillard, Inc. rose to $248 million ($1.71/share) vs. $232 million ($1.50/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A rise of 6.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 12.9% to $1.53 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: LO beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.57/share. Estimates ranged from $1.53 per share to $1.63 per share.

Quoting Management: “In the first quarter, Lorillard once again delivered industry leading financial results on virtually every measure that matters,” said Murray S. Kessler, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s a testament to our flagship Newport brand which continues to organically grow volume and market share, despite challenging external conditions.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 7% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 16.6%.

From the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company’s current liabilities rose to $1.95 billion from $1.43 billion.

Gross margins grew 0.2 percentage point to 35.4%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose 12.9% from the year earlier quarter while costs rose 12.5%.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 15.9% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose 48.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI), Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO), Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE:VGR), Philip Morris Intl. Inc. (NYSE:PM), British American Tobacco (AMEX:BTI), Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGX), Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (PINK:ITYBY), Alliance One Intl., Inc. (NYSE:AOI), Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc. (AURI), and Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV).

Today’s Performance: Shares of LO are trading at $103.53 as of April 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM ET, up 3.95% from the previous close.

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