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Tickers in this Article: PM
Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) announced its results for the third quarter on October 18, 2012. Philip Morris International is the holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates manufacture and sell cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside the U.S.

Investors should care about a company's quarterly earnings because it shows the state of the business over the past 90 days and provides guidance for the following 90 days. SEE: Everything Investors Need To Know About Earnings

The Numbers: Philip Morris International's EPS fell in line with analyst expectations of $1.38 per share while revenue of $7.9 billion missed estimates of $8.01 billion. Revenue fell 5.5% from the same period last year. Revenue declined last quarter after shrinking 1.8% to $8.12 billion in the second quarter. The company's net income for the quarter was $2.23 billion. This is a 6.2% decline from last year. This marks the second quarter in a row that the company's net income has fallen after profits tumbled 3.8% in the second quarter.

A Look Back: Net income has increased 8.1% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 30.5% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Expectations for the company's next-quarter results are lower than they have been. Over the past 60 days, the average estimate for fourth quarter has fallen from $1.24 per share to $1.20. Decreasing earnings estimates is generally a negative sign as it suggests analyst believe future earnings to be weaker than previously anticipated. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $5.29 a share to $5.16 over the last 90 days.

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