Philip Morris Pulls 2020 Earnings Forecast on Virus Risk
(Bloomberg) -- Philip Morris International Inc. abandoned its 2020 earnings guidance as the coronavirus outbreak weighs on duty-free tobacco sales.
- The company had previously forecast reported diluted EPS of at least $5.50.
- Adjusted earnings per share amounted to $1.21 in the first quarter. Analysts expected $1.13.
- The coronavirus didn’t have a big impact on business in the first quarter. But duty-free sales have been hit, and the company expects about a 50% lower switch rate to heated-tobacco device IQOS during the lockdowns.
- Heated-tobacco unit shipments rose 46%. As Philip Morris expands that category in the U.S. through Altria Group Inc., the company last month named Martin King chief executive officer of PMI America, a newly created function.
- Chief Executive Officer Andre Calantzopoulos said some markets are reporting a certain reduction in illicit cigarette trade as the coronavirus outbreak led to border closures. That’s going to benefit the company, though it’s still too early to draw more conclusions.
- The shares fell 3% in New York. They’ve dropped 12% this year, faring better than other consumer companies amid a market slump.
- See more details.
- Read the statement.
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