Philip Morris USA’s domestic cigarette shipment volume during the third quarter to the end of September, at 29,698 million, was 3.7 percent down on that of the third quarter of 2017, 30,828 million.
Marlboro volume was down by 3.2 percent to 25,611 million, while the volume of the company’s other premium brands was down by 6.0 percent to 1,473 million. Its discount-brand volume was down by 6.8 percent to 2,614 million.
In presenting its third-quarter and nine-month results, Altria said that industry-wide domestic cigarette volumes had declined by an estimated 4.5 percent during the third quarter. The 3.7 percent decline in PM USA’s shipments was said to have been driven primarily by the industry’s rate of decline and retail share losses, partially offset by trade inventory movements. When adjusted for trade inventory movements, shipments were said to have fallen by an estimated 5.0 percent.
Meanwhile, PM USA’s cigarette shipments during the first nine months of 2018, at 84,486 million, were down by 6.3 percent on those of the first nine months of 2017, 90,124 million.
Marlboro volume was down by 5.8 percent to 72,793 million, while the volume of the company’s other premium brands was down by 6.2 percent to 4,286 million. Its discount-brand volume was down by 10.2 percent to 7,407 million.
Altria reported that for the first nine months of 2018, industry-wide volumes had declined by an estimated 4.5 percent. The 6.3 percent decline in PM USA’s shipments was said to have been driven primarily by the industry’s rate of decline, retail share losses and trade inventory movements. When adjusted for trade inventory movements, shipments were said to have fallen by an estimated 5.5 percent.
PM USA’s domestic-market retail share during the three months to the end of September, at 50.1 percent, was down by 0.5 of a percentage point on that of the third quarter of 2017.
Marlboro’s market share was down by 0.1 of a percentage point to 43.1 percent, while the share of the company’s other premium brands was down by 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.6 percent, and the share of its discount brands was down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.4 percent.
Middleton’s cigar shipment volume during the first three months, at 411 million, was increased by 6.8 percent on that of the three months to the end of September 2017, 385 million, as Black & Mild volume rose by 7.1 percent to 408 million and other-cigar volume fell by 25 percent to three million.
USSTC’s domestic smokeless products shipment volume during the third quarter, at 213.4 million cans and packs, was increased by 0.4 percent on that of the three months to the end of September 2017, 212.6 million.
Shipments of Copenhagen and Skoal, taken together, were down by 0.2 percent to 195.4 million packs and cans, while shipments of other brands were increased by 6.5 percent to 18.0 million packs and cans.
USSTC’s retail share of the domestic smokeless products market during the three months to the end of September, at 54.1 percent, was increased by 0.1 of a percentage point.
The share of Copenhagen and Skoal, taken together, was unchanged at 50.7 percent, while the share of the company’s other brands increased by 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.4 percent.
Altria said that, in response to a request by the US Food and Drug Administration that it (and several other companies) address the issue of the use of e-vapor products by those underage, it was removing from the market its Nu Mark MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen pod-based products until those products received a market order from the FDA or the youth issue was otherwise addressed.
‘For our remaining MarkTen and Green Smoke cig-a-like products, Nu Mark will sell only tobacco, menthol and mint varieties,’ Altria said. ‘Nu Mark will discontinue the sale of all other flavor variants of our cig-alike products until these products receive a market order from the FDA or the youth issue is otherwise addressed.’
In addition, Altria said it would support federal legislation to establish 21 as the minimum age to purchase any tobacco product [which in the US are taken to include e-cigarettes].
About 80 percent of Nu Mark’s e-vapor volume in the third-quarter of 2018 is expected to remain on the market after the removal of MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen pod-based products and the discontinuation of the sale of flavor variants of Nu Mark’s cig-a-like products, other than tobacco, menthol and mint varieties.
PM USA is said to be ready to deploy its initial lead market plans for IQOS upon FDA authorization, while the FDA has accepted and filed for substantive scientific review USSTC’s modified risk tobacco product application for Copenhagen Snuff submitted by USSTC in the first quarter.
Altria’s 2017 third-quarter reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) were increased by 6.2 percent to $1.03 on those of the third quarter of 2017, while adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes the impact of special items, increased by 20.0 percent to $1.08.
“Altria delivered excellent third-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share growth of 20 percent and continued to return large amounts of cash to our shareholders,” Howard Willard, Altria’s chairman and CEO, was quoted as saying.
“Our tobacco businesses are successfully executing against their strategies, while making strategic investments to drive long-term success.
“We believe our year-to-date performance positions us well to deliver on our full-year plans. As a result, we are tightening our guidance range to $3.95 to $4.03, representing a growth rate of 16.5 percent to 19 percent.”