Altria Group Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Altria Group (NYSE:MO) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 25, 2012. Altria Group manufactures and sells cigarettes and tobacco products as well as maintaining a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases.

Altria Group Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 58 cents per share, a rise of 3.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 60 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 58 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 7.8% compared to last year’s $2.21.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported profit of 59 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 57 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of 49 cents per share.

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A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose more than twofold to $1.23 billion (60 cents a share) from $444 million (21 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 62.1% to $6.49 billion from $4 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between July 26, 2012 and October 19, 2012, the stock price fell $3 (-8.4%), from $35.63 to $32.63. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 26, 2012 and July 3, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 3.9% (+$1.32) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between June 19, 2012 and June 26, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 0.7% (-25 cents) over that span.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.85 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on three-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue increased 5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 1.3% in the first quarter before climbing again in the second quarter.

The company enters this earnings announcement with steady profits recently. Net income has risen year-over-year average of 43.6% for the last four quarters.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with seven of 13 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 0.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.36 billion.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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