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Reynolds American 2nd Quarter Net Rises 35% on Strong Snuff Sales

By Melodie Warner Reynolds American Inc.'s (RAI) second-quarter earnings rose 35% as moist-snuff volume gains helped to offset the tobacco company's cigarette sales decline. Like its rivals, the nation's second-largest tobacco company behind Altria Group Inc. (MO), is seeing its top line challenged by an industry-wide decline in cigarette volumes and a weak economy that continues to pressure consumer disposable income. The issues have also contributed to an aggressive promotional environment, which is also hitting Reynolds American's bottom-line results. The company has been shifting its focus toward a few key cigarette brands while also expanding into smokeless tobacco. Reynolds is also reducing its U.S. work force by about 10% by the end of 2014 in an effort to save on labor costs. Reynolds American reported a profit of $443 million, or 78 cents a share, up from $327 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as lawsuits and restructuring charges, earnings rose to 79 cents from 71 cents. Sales dropped 4% to $2.18 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 76 cents on revenue of $2.24 billion. Operating margin rose to 33.7% from 25.6%. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the company's cigarette unit, saw its revenue drop 6.4% to $1.83 billion as volume declined 6.7% amid competitive promotional activity. Total cigarette market share fell to 26.2% from 27.6%. Meanwhile, growth brands--which include Camel and Pall Mall--lost 0.2 percentage points of market share to hold 16.7% of the market. At American Snuff, the smokeless tobacco unit that makes Grizzly and Kodiak moist snuff, total volume increased 11% and revenue grew 12%. The company also backed its full-year adjusted earnings estimate. Shares closed Monday at $45.74 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 26% over the past year. Write to Melodie Warner at melodie.warner@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Altria (MO)
DateTimeHeadline
04/28/201610:00:57Quarterly Report (10-q)
04/28/201608:02:00Altria Profit, Revenue Grow as Cigarette Shipments Rise
04/28/201607:06:26Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/28/201607:00:00Altria Reports 2016 First-Quarter Results and Reaffirms Full-Year...
04/26/201612:22:00Reynolds American Sales Surge on Lorillard Acquisition--Update
04/26/201609:30:00Reynolds American Growth Continues on Newport Acquisition
04/14/201610:30:00Altria to Host Webcast of 2016 First-Quarter Results
04/07/201618:48:00Philip Morris USA Wins Missouri “Lights” Class Action Jury Tri...
04/07/201609:05:05Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
04/07/201608:55:06Proxy Statement (definitive) (def 14a)
04/04/201615:24:39Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/04/201615:21:08Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/04/201615:17:05Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/25/201610:54:15Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
02/25/201609:15:00Altria Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend of $0.565 per Common...
02/17/201612:47:17Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/17/201608:00:00Altria Presents at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference;...
02/16/201616:41:37Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/16/201616:37:41Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/16/201616:08:12Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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