Altria 1st quarter 2009 results..

April 23, 2009 - Altria's first-quarter net income fell 77% because of the year-earlier spinoff of its international operations. Cigarette sales slipped 8 percent to $3.9 billion on lower shipment volumes (cigarette volume declined 14%) as tobacco wholesalers and retailers tried to limit inventories temporarily in preparation for 62-cents per pack federal excise tax increase on April 1. The company said customers have started to replenish inventories. Its major brands had volume declines during the quarter, but top-selling brand Marlboro gained 0.5 market share points to 42.4 percent while its total market share fell 0.3 percentage points to 50.9 percent.

Altria said its first-quarter results were impacted by higher interest expense versus the prior-year period, charges related to the acquisition of UST Inc. and lower SABMiller plc equity earnings.

Altria also saw market-share growth for its smokeless-tobacco products in the Southeast after UST Inc., which it acquired in January, offered promotions on its Copenhagen and Skoal brands in that region. The price promotions imply fresh competition for Reynolds American Inc., which sells the discount brand Grizzly through its Conwood unit. At its smokeless-tobacco unit, volume fell 5.3%, and the segment posted an operating loss amid $128 million in acquisition-related charges and discounts to promote UST brands.

Altria Net Income 2007-2009..

References: Altria Net Falls 77%; Revenue Increases by By TESS STYNES and ANJALI CORDEIRO, The Wall Street Journal, 4/23/2009; Altria Group, Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, 4/22/2009.