Philip Morris International Inc. (PM:US), the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company, reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, spurred by demand for cigarettes in Eastern Europe.
Net income in the period ended June 30 fell 3.8 percent to $2.32 billion from $2.41 billion a year earlier, the New York- based maker of Marlboro cigarettes said today in a statement. On a per share basis, profit rose to $1.36 because the number of outstanding shares decreased. Analysts projected $1.35, the average of 16 estimates (PM:US) compiled by Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri has introduced new varieties of top-selling Marlboro cigarettes to boost demand in Russia. Shipments in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa rose 5.1 percent in the second quarter while total cigarette shipments excluding acquisitions slipped 1.2 percent.
“This was a touch better than our expectations thanks to a great quarter” in the Eastern European region, Rogerio Fujimori, a Credit Suisse AG analyst, wrote today in a note. He rates the shares as neutral, the equivalent of a hold recommendation.
Philip Morris rose (PM:US) 0.2 percent to $89.55 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The shares have climbed 14 percent this year.
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