Altria Group says its profit climbed 38 percent as its top-selling Marlboro cigarette brand and Copenhagen smokeless tobacco gained market share and the company cut costs.
The nation's biggest cigarette maker is also reaffirming its guidance for the year but says the second quarter will be challenging for income growth.
Altria says it earned $813 million, or 39 cents per share, in the January-March period. That's up from from $589 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, profit was 42 cents per share. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share.
It says net revenue rose 27 percent to $5.76 billion from $4.52 billion a year ago. Total cigarette volume edged down to 34.1 billion from 34.4 billion last year.
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