Altria Group Q1 Profit Jumps 38% on Higher Sales (MO)


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Tobacco giant Altria Group, Inc. ( MO ) said Wednesday that its first quarter profit jumped 38% from last year, helped by strong sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

The Richmond, VA-based company reported first quarter net income of $813 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with $589 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profit was 42 cents per share.

Revenue surged 27% from last year, to $5.76 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller adjusted profit of 40 cents per share.

Looking ahead, the company maintained its full-year 2010 profit forecast of $1.78 to $1.82 per share, or $1.85 to $1.89 per share on an adjusted basis.

Altria shares rose 13 cents, or +0.6%, in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of MO since Mar.10 of 2009, when the stock was trading at $15.86. The company has a 6.61% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $21.17.

Altria Group, Inc. ( MO ) is a "recommended" dividend stock, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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