Philip Morris Forecasts Higher Profit as IQOS Sales Rise

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(Bloomberg) -- Philip Morris International Inc., the international seller of Marlboros, forecast that profit this year will be lifted by sales of tobacco sticks for IQOS devices.

  • Earnings per share should rise at least 19% to $5.50 this year, based on current exchange rates, the company forecast. That’s short of the $5.61 analysts have been expecting.

Key Insights

  • The company launched its latest IQOS 3 Duo in Japan in September. IQOS’s 41% growth in the fourth quarter suggests it’s holding its own against heightened competition in the market for smoking alternatives.
  • Philip Morris has said that as people smoke fewer combustible cigarettes, it plans not only to switch them to next-generation devices like IQOS, but also maintain a strong share of the cigarette market. Its total international cigarette market share was 26.9%, down 0.3% points.
  • The performance contrasts with that of smaller rivals such as Imperial Brands Plc, the maker of Kool cigarettes, which has warned of declining sales from its smoking alternatives. Philip Morris sold 60 billion heat sticks last year and said it’s on track to reach its goal to ship as many as 100 billion in 2021.

Market Reaction

  • Philip Morris has gained 11% in the past year.
  • For the company statement, click here.

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