Altria Group Inc
Altria Group, Inc. Presents at Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference
Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Louis C.
Camilleri will address investors today at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer
Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
The presentation is being webcast beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m. eastern
standard time at www.altria.com. The text of Mr. Camilleri's remarks will be
posted to the investor relations section of the same site following the
Highlights of the presentation include:
-- Altria Group, Inc. reaffirmed its previously disclosed earnings guidance of
$4.55 to $4.60 per share for the full year 2004, including charges. 'I believe
we will achieve the high end of that range,' Mr. Camilleri said.
-- During the presentation, Mr. Camilleri said, 'Looking at Altria's price to
earnings multiple excluding Kraft, you can see that our tobacco businesses are
significantly undervalued versus their tobacco peers. It is therefore obvious
that we are looking at a number of alternatives to maximize shareholder value,
including the separation of the company into two, or potentially three, strong
and independent entities, and we are beginning to make the necessary
preparations to assure execution readiness when the litigation environment
-- Regarding tobacco litigation, Mr. Camilleri said, 'We continue to believe
that the positive fundamentals witnessed over the last couple of years remain
very much in place,' and outlined the company's reasons for optimism in major
cases, including the Department of Justice case, the Engle case in Florida and
the Price case in Illinois.'
Altria Group, Inc. Profile
Altria Group, Inc. is the parent company of Kraft Foods Inc., with approximately
85% ownership of outstanding Kraft common shares, Philip Morris International
Inc., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. In addition,
Altria Group, Inc. has a 36% economic interest in SABMiller plc. The brand
portfolio of Altria Group, Inc.'s consumer packaged goods companies includes
such well-known names as Kraft, Jacobs, L&M, Marlboro, Maxwell House, Nabisco,
Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Parliament, Philadelphia, Post and Virginia Slims. Altria
Group, Inc. recorded 2003 net revenues of $81.8 billion.
Trademarks and service marks mentioned in this release are the registered
property of, or licensed by, the subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains projections of future results and other
forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties and
are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could cause
actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in such
Altria Group, Inc.'s consumer products subsidiaries are subject to changing
prices for raw materials; intense price competition; changes in consumer
preferences and demand for their products; fluctuations in levels of customer
inventories; the effects of foreign economies and local economic and market
conditions; and unfavorable currency movements. Their results are dependent upon
their continued ability to promote brand equity successfully; to anticipate and
respond to new consumer trends; to develop new products and markets and to
broaden brand portfolios in order to compete effectively with lower-priced
products; to improve productivity; and to respond effectively to changing prices
for their raw materials.
Altria Group, Inc.'s tobacco subsidiaries (Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris
International) continue to be subject to litigation, including risks associated
with adverse jury and judicial determinations, courts reaching conclusions at
variance with the company's understanding of applicable law, bonding
requirements and the absence of adequate appellate remedies to get timely relief
from any of the foregoing; price disparities and changes in price disparities
between premium and lowest-price brands; legislation, including actual and
potential excise tax increases; increasing marketing and regulatory
restrictions; the effects of price increases related to excise tax increases and
concluded tobacco litigation settlements on consumption rates and consumer
preferences within price segments; health concerns relating to the use of
tobacco products and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; governmental
regulation; privately imposed smoking restrictions; and governmental and grand
Altria Group, Inc.'s consumer products subsidiaries are subject to other risks
detailed from time to time in its publicly filed documents, including its
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2004. Altria Group,
Inc. cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not complete and
does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that it may make.
CONTACT: Altria Group, Inc.
Nicholas M. Rolli, 917-663-3460
Timothy R. Kellogg, 917-663-2759