Philip Morris International Inc. (PM – Free Report) is the world’s leading tobacco company. However, the company has been witnessing declining demand for cigarettes due to the ongoing anti-tobacco campaigns and government restrictions. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also made it mandatory for tobacco companies to use precautionary labels on cigarette packets to dissuade customers from smoking, which has further pressurized tobacco companies. While the company continues to benefit from its strong portfolio of tobacco brands and have always managed to remain afloat and generate revenues with higher cigarette pricing, Philip Morris is also aggressively investing in creating smoke-free products such as IQOS (Heatsticks that heat tobacco instead of burning it) in order to boost its business and market share. We expect the company’s continued focus on accelerating IQOS volume growth and pricing actions will help it deliver upbeat results in the upcoming quarter as well as in 2017.

Earnings Estimate Revision: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 have increased by 0.2% and 0.5% in the last thirty days. However, in the trailing four quarters, excluding quarter under review, the company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of nearly 2.3%.

Zacks Rank: Currently, PM has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here. The Zacks Rank could definitely change following Philip Morris’ earnings report which was just released. We have highlighted some of the key stats from this just-revealed announcement below:

Earnings: PM came out with second-quarter 2017 results, wherein adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23. Also, earnings were down 0.9% year over year.

Revenues: PM’s net revenues (excluding excise taxes) grew 4% to $6,917 million, and also came below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7,058 million. While excluding adverse currency impact of $195 million, the same advanced 7.0%. 

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