By Micah Maidenberg
Philip Morris International Inc. raised its profit forecast for the year even as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh on cigarette shipments in key end markets.
The tobacco company focused on markets outside of the U.S. on Tuesday reported quarterly profit rose to $2.31 billion, or $1.48 a share, from close to $1.9 billion, or $1.22 a share, the year earlier.
After adjustments, the company reported earnings of $1.42 a share, 6 cents more than what analysts were looking for on that metric.
Third-quarter sales dropped to $7.45 billion from $7.64 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted $7.28 billion for the latest period.
Like other companies selling consumer products, Philip Morris International faced a drop off in demand after the spread of the coronavirus shut down economies around the world earlier this year and kept people at home.
Shipment volumes for cigarette and heated-tobacco products fell 14.5% in the second quarter. For the third quarter, those volumes fell again, but by a lesser rate of 7.6%.
Cigarette shipments in the third quarter were down 9.8%. The company continued to face challenges in Indonesia and in its duty-free business, Chief Executive André Calantzopoulos said.
Philip Morris also said it now believes that it will report adjusted earnings, excluding currency fluctuations, of $5.37 to $5.42 a share for 2020, representing comparable growth of 5% to 6% versus last year.
Better-than-expected volumes in the third quarter, especially in the European Union and in Indonesia, helped to support the stronger forecast, the company said.
Write to Micah Maidenberg at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires