Le Lézard
Classified in: Covid-19 virus
Subjects: Product/Service, Dividend, Webcast, Share Issue

Altria Holds 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders; Reaffirms 2022 Full-Year Earnings Guidance; Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend of $0.90 Per Share


Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) held its 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (Annual Meeting) today. During the Annual Meeting, Billy Gifford, Altria's Chief Executive Officer, summarized our full-year 2021 and first-quarter 2022 financial results and discussed our progress toward our Vision and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. Mr. Gifford also reaffirmed our guidance for adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) and addressed shareholder questions. Copies of these prepared remarks and business presentation and a replay of the audio webcast of the Annual Meeting are available on www.altria.com.

Preliminary Voting Results for Altria's Annual Meeting

The preliminary voting results at the Annual Meeting were as follows: our shareholders elected to a one-year term each of the 12 nominees for our Board of Directors (Board) named in our proxy statement, ratified the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2022, approved, on an advisory basis, the compensation of our named executive officers and approved one shareholder proposal. Final voting results will be reported in a Current Report on Form 8-K that we will file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

2022 Full-Year Guidance

In the remarks, Mr. Gifford reaffirmed our guidance to deliver 2022 full-year adjusted diluted EPS in a range of $4.79 to $4.93, representing a growth rate of 4% to 7% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $4.61 in 2021, as shown in Schedule 1. This guidance range excludes the special items for the first quarter of 2022 shown in Schedule 1. We continue to expect that 2022 adjusted diluted EPS growth will be weighted toward the second half of the year. While the 2022 full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance accounts for a range of scenarios, the external environment remains dynamic. We will continue to monitor conditions related to (i) the economy, including the impact of increased inflation and global supply chain disruptions, (ii) the impact of current and future COVID-19 variants and mitigation strategies, (iii) adult tobacco consumer dynamics, including tobacco usage occasions, available disposable income, purchasing patterns and adoption of smoke-free products, (iv) regulatory and legislative developments and (v) the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Our 2022 full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance range includes planned investments in support of our Vision, such as (i) enhancement of our digital consumer engagement system, (ii) increased smoke-free product research, development and regulatory preparation expenses and (iii) marketplace activities in support of our smoke-free products. The guidance range also includes anticipated inflationary increases in Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) expenses, direct materials costs and our current expectation that PM USA will not have access to the IQOS system in 2022.

Our full-year adjusted diluted EPS guidance range excludes the impact of certain income and expense items that management believes are not part of underlying operations. These items may include, for example, loss on early extinguishment of debt, restructuring charges, asset impairment charges, acquisition-related and disposition-related costs, equity investment-related special items (including any changes in fair value of our equity investment recorded using the fair value option and any changes in the fair value of related warrants and preemptive rights), certain income tax items, charges associated with tobacco and health and certain other litigation items, and resolutions of certain non-participating manufacturer (NPM) adjustment disputes under the MSA (such dispute resolutions are referred to as NPM Adjustment Items).

Our management cannot estimate on a forward-looking basis the impact of certain income and expense items, including those items noted in the preceding paragraph, on our reported diluted EPS because these items, which could be significant, may be unusual or infrequent, are difficult to predict and may be highly variable. As a result, we do not provide a corresponding U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) measure for, or reconciliation to, our adjusted diluted EPS guidance.

Regular Quarterly Dividend

Following the Annual Meeting, our Board declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.90 per share, payable on July 11, 2022, to shareholders of record as of June 15, 2022. The ex-dividend date is June 14, 2022. Future dividend payments remain subject to the discretion of our Board.

Altria's Profile

We have a leading portfolio of tobacco products for U.S. tobacco consumers age 21+. Our Vision by 2030 is to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a smoke-free future (Vision). We are Moving Beyond Smokingtm, leading the way in moving adult smokers away from cigarettes by taking action to transition millions to potentially less harmful choices - believing it is a substantial opportunity for adult tobacco consumers, our businesses and society.

Our wholly owned subsidiaries include leading manufacturers of both combustible and smoke-free products. In combustibles, we own Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA), the most profitable U.S. cigarette manufacturer, and John Middleton Co. (Middleton), a leading U.S cigar manufacturer. Our smoke-free portfolio includes ownership of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC), the leading global moist smokeless tobacco (MST) manufacturer, and Helix Innovations LLC (Helix), a rapidly growing manufacturer of oral nicotine pouches. We also enhance our smoke-free product portfolio with exclusive U.S. commercialization rights to the IQOS Tobacco Heating System® and Marlboro HeatSticks®, and an equity investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL).

We also own equity investments in Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI), the world's largest brewer, and Cronos Group Inc. (Cronos), a leading Canadian cannabinoid company.

The brand portfolios of our tobacco operating companies include Marlboro®, Black & Mild®, Copenhagen®, Skoal® and on!®. Trademarks and service marks related to Altria referenced in this release are the property of Altria or its subsidiaries or are used with permission.

Learn more about Altria at www.altria.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Forward Looking and Cautionary Statements

This release contains projections of future results and other forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Important factors that may cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements included in this release are described in our publicly filed reports, including our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 and our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. These factors include the following:

We caution that the foregoing list of factors is not complete and we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that we may make except as required by applicable law. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Altria or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements referenced above.

Schedule 1

ALTRIA GROUP, INC.

and Subsidiaries

Reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP Measures

(dollars in millions, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconciliation of Altria's Full Year 2021 Adjusted Results

 

Earnings
before
Income
Taxes

Provision for
Income
Taxes

Net
Earnings

Net
Earnings
Attributable
to Altria

Diluted
EPS

2021 Reported

$

3,824

 

$

1,349

 

$

2,475

 

$

2,475

 

$

1.34

 

NPM Adjustment Items

 

(76

)

 

(19

)

 

(57

)

 

(57

)

 

(0.03

)

Asset impairment, exit, implementation, acquisition and disposition-related costs

 

120

 

 

21

 

 

99

 

 

99

 

 

0.05

 

Tobacco and health and certain other

litigation items

 

182

 

 

44

 

 

138

 

 

138

 

 

0.07

 

ABI-related special items

 

6,203

 

 

1,302

 

 

4,901

 

 

4,901

 

 

2.66

 

Cronos-related special items

 

466

 

 

(4

)

 

470

 

 

470

 

 

0.25

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

649

 

 

153

 

 

496

 

 

496

 

 

0.27

 

Income tax items

 

?

 

 

3

 

 

(3

)

 

(3

)

 

?

 

2021 Adjusted for Special Items

$

11,368

 

$

2,849

 

$

8,519

 

$

8,519

 

$

4.61

 

Reconciliation of Altria's First Quarter 2022 Adjusted Results

 

Earnings
before
Income
Taxes

Provision for
Income
Taxes

Net
Earnings

Net
Earnings
Attributable
to Altria

Diluted
EPS

2022 Reported

$

2,673

 

$

714

 

$

1,959

 

$

1,959

 

$

1.08

 

NPM Adjustment Items

 

(60

)

 

(15

)

 

(45

)

 

(45

)

 

(0.02

)

Asset impairment, exit, implementation, acquisition and disposition-related costs

 

7

 

 

2

 

 

5

 

 

5

 

 

?

 

Tobacco and health and certain other

litigation items

 

12

 

 

3

 

 

9

 

 

9

 

 

?

 

JUUL changes in fair value

 

100

 

 

?

 

 

100

 

 

100

 

 

0.05

 

ABI-related special items

 

(59

)

 

(12

)

 

(47

)

 

(47

)

 

(0.02

)

Cronos-related special items

 

61

 

 

?

 

 

61

 

 

61

 

 

0.03

 

Income tax items

 

?

 

 

(5

)

 

5

 

 

5

 

 

?

 

2022 Adjusted for Special Items

$

2,734

 

$

687

 

$

2,047

 

$

2,047

 

$

1.12

 

While we report our financial results in accordance with GAAP, our management reviews certain financial results, including diluted EPS, on an adjusted basis, which excludes certain income and expense items, including those items noted under "2022 Full-Year Guidance." Our management does not view any of these special items to be part of our underlying results as they may be highly variable, may be unusual or infrequent, are difficult to predict and can distort underlying business trends and results. Our management believes that adjusted financial measures provide useful additional insight into underlying business trends and results and provide a more meaningful comparison of year-over-year results. Our management uses adjusted financial measures for planning, forecasting and evaluating business and financial performance, including allocating resources and evaluating results relative to employee compensation targets. These adjusted financial measures are not required by, or calculated in accordance with, GAAP and may not be calculated the same as similarly titled measures used by other companies. These adjusted financial measures should thus be considered as supplemental in nature and not considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP.


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