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Altria Group spent $2.62M lobbying in 2Q

Altria Client Services Inc., on behalf of the nation’s biggest cigarette maker, spent $2.62 million lobbying the federal government in the second quarter on issues including the budget, taxes and other issues according to a recent disclosure form. That’s more than the $2.32 million the company spent on lobbying a year earlier but less than the $2.86 million it spent in the first quarter. Topics the company lobbied on include the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, which let companies request that their flight-tracking information be shielded from public view for commercial and privacy purposes, as well as security reasons. Begun by Congress in 2000, the program ended in June. The FAA revived it in August but limited blocking to cases that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Altria Reports 2010 Second-Quarter and First-Half Results

ltria’s 2010 adjusted diluted earnings per share unchanged at $0.50 in the second quarter and up 3.4% to $0.92 for the first six months, versus the prior-year periods. —Marlboro achieves record retail share of 42.8% in the second quarter of 2010, and PM USA’s second-quarter cigarette retail share increases 0.7 share points, versus the prior-year period –Copenhagen’s second-quarter retail share increases 2.6 share points, and USSTC and PM USA’s combined smokeless products second-quarter retail share up 1.8 share points, versus the prior-year period –Altria raises 2010 full-year guidance for reported diluted earnings per share from a range of $1.78 to $1.82 to a range of $1.81 to $1.85 –Altria raises 2010 full-year guidance for adjusted diluted earnings per share from a range of $1.85 to $1.89 to a range of $1.87 to $1.91, representing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Altria stock performance

Options traders boosted bearish bets on Altria Group Inc. to a five-year high before the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to hear appeals of a ruling that shielded cigarette makers from paying billions of dollars in damages. The ratio of outstanding puts to sell Altria stock compared with calls jumped to 1.71-to-1 on June 18, the highest level since January 2005. Justices are expected to say this month if they will hear appeals of a ruling that kept the U.S. from collecting as much as $280 billion of past profits in a fraud suit. The Justice Department sued the industry for $280 billion in 1999, alleging tobacco companies deceived the public. “The options activity and the stock performance certainly indicate a negative sentiment,” saidThilo Wrede, a New York- based analyst with Credit Suisse … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Tobacco companies

Altria to Pay $971 Million to Resolve a Tax Dispute

The Altria Group, the nation’s largest tobacco company, announced on Tuesday that it would pay $971 million to resolve a tax dispute concerning leasing transactions in the years 2000 through 2003. Analysts said the decision was not surprising.“A big number, but expected,” David J. Adelman, tobacco industry analyst for Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note to investors. The company made the announcement in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Adelman said Altria previously paid about $150 million to conclude an Internal Revenue Service examination of its 1996-99 tax returns on a similar tax issue. He said it had also previously disclosed that it expected to face another tax liability of about $900 million for 2004 to 2009.“This cash tax payment, just like the 2006 payment, is part of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Tobacco companies