Altria Reaches $500 Million Settlement With IRS; Raises Fiscal Year EPS View Again

Date : 05/22/2012 @ 4:55PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Altria Grp., Inc. (MO)
Quote : 74.15  0.01 (0.01%) @ 2:31PM

Altria Reaches $500 Million Settlement With IRS; Raises Fiscal Year EPS View Again

Altria (NYSE:MO)
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Altria Group Inc. (MO) said it reached a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service over certain leveraged lease transactions, in which it will pay $500 million in federal and state income taxes and interest.

Altria, the parent of tobacco company Philip Morris, also raised its full-year earnings guidance by 3 cents to $2.28 to $2.34 a share, as the IRS deal requires it to pay less interest expense than it anticipated. It raised those estimates by 11 cents just last week on noncash gains related to its stake in SABMiller PLC (SBMRY, SAB.LN, SAB.JO), one of the world's largest brewers.

The IRS settlement involves subsidiary Philip Morris Capital Corp.'s lease-in/lease-out and sale-in/sale-out transactions.

Altria said the agreement still requires court approval. About $450 million will go to the federal government and $50 million to states.

The company's shares closed Tuesday at $31.76 and were unchanged after hours. The stock is up 7.1% so far this year.

-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; ben.rubin@dowjones.com

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