Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) said Thursday fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue fell on reduced shipment volumes and currency headwinds, though the cigarette maker still managed to beat analyst estimates.
The New York-based company makes and sells cigarettes under the brand names such as Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Benson & Hedges and L&M, among others.
Net income slipped 3.8 per cent to $2.31 billion, or $1.36 per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $2.40 billion, or $1.35 per share.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected to see a per-share profit of $1.35 for the latest period that ended on June 30.
Total revenue, excluding excise taxes, fell 1.8 per cent to $8.12 billion from $8.27 billion, coming out slightly ahead of analyst estimates for $8.1 billion.
Total cigarette shipment volume fell 1.2 per cent to 238 billion units.
Shares, in early morning trade, rose 0.74 per cent to hit $90.07 each on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.
"Despite the anticipated Japan hurdle and currency headwinds, we had a solid second quarter which underscored our sustained business momentum," chief executive Louis C. Camilleri said in a release.
"Our broad geographic footprint, world-class brand portfolio and a strong pricing environment remain the cornerstone of our continuing ability to capitalize on growth opportunities around the world, while enabling us to weather uncertainty in those markets where economic conditions are still currently weak."
On a geographic basis, the company saw a 6.9 per cent rise in sales in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region to $2.15 billion as shipments grew 5.1 per cent thanks to increased market share in Turkey and Russia.
Europe reported a sharp drop in sales at 8.5 per cent to $2.28 billion as shipment volume fell 9.4 per cent.
Revenue in Latin America and Canada edged up 0.1 per cent to $829 million as shipments in the regions slumped by three per cent.
Sales in Asia dropped 2.8 per cent to $2.85 billion as shipment volume decreased 0.7 per cent due to increased shipments a year-ago after the fallout of the Japan tsunami.
Philip Morris said shipment volume for Marlboro fell 1.5 per cent to 76.9 billion units. Volume shipments for Bond Street rose 6.1 per cent to 12.7 billion units thanks to growth in Kazakhstan and the Ukraine.
The company, in the quarter, spent $1.5 billion to repurchase 17.8 million of its own stock as part of a three-year $12 billion buyback program started in May 2010.
Philip Morris recently announced a new three year buyback program of $18 billion expected to begin on August 1.
For the full-year, the company stood by its per-share earnings guidance of $5.10 to $5.20, slightly ahead of analyst calls for $5.18 per share.