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Press release from Business Wire

Altria Presents at the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Altria Presents at the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference10:15 EDT Wednesday, September 07, 2011 RICHMOND, Va. (Business Wire) -- Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) is participating in the Barclays Capital Back-To-School Consumer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts today. The presentation is being webcast live at altria.com in a listen-only mode, beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. During the presentation, Howard A. Willard, Altria's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer will discuss why Altria remains a compelling investment and review the company's plans to continue delivering strong returns to its shareholders. 2011 Full-Year Guidance Altria reaffirms its 2011 full-year guidance for reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) to be in the range of $1.70 to $1.76. Altria reaffirms its 2011 full-year guidance for adjusted diluted EPS to be in the range of $2.01 to $2.07, representing a growth rate of 6% to 9% from an adjusted base of $1.90 per share in 2010. This 2011 full-year forecast includes the anticipated impact of cigarette trade inventory dynamics on Philip Morris USA Inc.'s (PM USA) year-over-year shipment volume and income comparisons. As previously disclosed, PM USA's 2011 first-half results benefited from the trade building cigarette inventory levels. The company believes the trade depleted these inventories in the third quarter, which will negatively impact PM USA's third-quarter cigarette volume and income comparisons. These trade inventory dynamics are playing out as PM USA expected. Altria, therefore, expects its quarterly adjusted diluted EPS growth to be stronger in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter of 2011. The factors described in the Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements section of this release represent continuing risks to this forecast. Webcast Replay A copy of Mr. Willard's business presentation and prepared remarks, as well as a replay of the audio webcast of his remarks are available at altria.com until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 6, 2011. Financial Measures Altria reports its consolidated financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This press release contains 2010 actual results and 2011 guidance for diluted EPS on both a reported basis and on an adjusted basis, which excludes items that affect the comparability of reported results. Reconciliations of Altria's forecasted reported to adjusted diluted EPS are shown below in Table 1.   Table 1 - Altria's Full-Year Earnings Per Share Guidance Excluding Special Items       Full Year2011 Guidance       2010       ChangeReported diluted EPS$1.70 to $1.76       $ 1.87       (9)% to (6)% Asset impairment, exit, integration and implementation costs - 0.04 UST acquisition-related costs* - 0.01 SABMiller special items 0.01 0.03 PMCC leveraged lease charge 0.30 - Tax items** - (0.05) Adjusted diluted EPS$2.01 to $2.07$ 1.906% to 9%* Excludes exit and integration costs; ** Excludes the tax impact included in the 2011 PMCC leveraged lease charge   Altria's Profile Altria directly or indirectly owns 100% of each of PM USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC), John Middleton Co. (Middleton), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (Ste. Michelle) and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria holds a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller plc. The brand portfolios of Altria's tobacco operating companies include such well-known names as Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild. Ste. Michelle produces and markets premium wines sold under various labels, including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest, and it exclusively distributes and markets Antinori, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Villa Maria Estate products in the United States. Trademarks and service marks related to Altria referenced in this release are the property of, or licensed by, Altria or its subsidiaries. More information about Altria is available at altria.com. 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. Important factors that may cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in the projections and forward-looking statements included in this press release are described in Altria's publicly filed reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2011. These factors include the following: Altria's tobacco businesses (PM USA, USSTC and Middleton) are subject to price competition; changes in adult consumer preferences and demand for their products; fluctuations in raw material availability, quality and cost; reliance on key facilities and suppliers; fluctuations in levels of customer inventories; the effects of global, national and local economic and market conditions; changes to income tax laws; legislation, including actual and potential federal and state excise tax increases; increasing marketing and regulatory restrictions; the effects of price increases related to excise tax increases and concluded tobacco litigation settlements on trade inventories, consumption rates and consumer preferences within price segments; health concerns relating to the use of tobacco products and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; privately imposed smoking restrictions; and, from time to time, governmental and grand jury investigations. Furthermore, the results of Altria's tobacco businesses are dependent upon their continued ability to promote brand equity successfully; to anticipate and respond to evolving adult consumer preferences; to develop new products and markets and to broaden brand portfolios in order to compete effectively; and to improve productivity. Altria and its tobacco businesses are also subject to government regulation, including broad-based regulation of PM USA and USSTC by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Altria and its subsidiaries continue to be subject to litigation, including risks associated with adverse jury and judicial determinations, courts reaching conclusions at variance with the companies' understanding of applicable law, bonding requirements in the limited number of jurisdictions that do not limit the dollar amount of appeal bonds and certain challenges to bond cap statutes. Altria 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 other than in the normal course of its public disclosure obligations. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Altria or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements referenced above. Altria Client ServicesInvestor Relations, 804-484-8222Media Relations, 804-484-8897