MO reported 2nd quarter 2018 adjusted EPS of $1.01 per share, up 19% from last years $0.85. For the full year, they raised the low end of their previous guidance, and now expect $3.94 to $4.03 (versus $3.90 to $4.03 previously).
While the bottom line results are obviously strong, the growth came entirely from income tax savings, plus higher income from their 10.2% stake in BUD.
Profits in their tobacco businesses were flat year over year, with some continued pressure on volumes and market share losses. While this does follow their guidance of reinvesting in their brands this year, it is hard to know if the actions they are taking are truly strengthening them for resumed stronger profit growth in the future, or just fighting off competitive and industry based declines for now.
It's probably some of both, and it will probably take until 2019 to see what the true longer term picture is.