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Philip Morris lowers full year earnings forecast again

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Global tobacco company Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) Thursday lowered its fiscal 2012 earnings forecast for the second time this year due to the strengthening US dollar.

The 10-cent decrease to between $5.10 and $5.20 a share follows a five-cent decrease in April. This compares with earnings of $4.85 in 2011.

The cigarette maker, with brands such as Marlboro, now expects a negative currency impact of 25 cents a share to earnings for 2012, compared with a 19-cent benefit last year.

Excluding this 25 cent impact, diluted earnings per share are anticipated to rise between 10 and 12 per cent, the company said, versus adjusted earnings of $4.88 in 2011.

The company's chairman and CEO Louis Camilleri, speaking at an investor day event in Switzerland, said it now sees a soft second-quarter performance in the EU, due to quarterly declines in sales in the region, particularly in Spain and Italy.

Philip Morris distributes its products across roughly 160 countries, with seven of the world’s top 15 international brands under its name, including Marlboro.

In 2011, the company held an estimated 16 per cent share of the total international cigarette market outside of the United States, or a 26.1 per cent share if China is excluded.

Shares of Philip Morris traded down more than 2 per cent Thursday afternoon, at $86.3.

Quick facts: Philip Morris International

Price: 75.75 USD

NYSE:PM
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $117.97 billion
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