Cigarette maker Lorillard 4Q profit falls 5 pct

MICHAEL FELBERBAUM AP Tobacco Writer Published:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Tobacco company Lorillard says its fourth-quarter profit fell 5 percent as higher costs offset an increase in revenue from both traditional and electronic cigarettes.

The nation's third-biggest tobacco company said Wednesday it earned $293 million, or 80 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That's down from $309 million, or 80 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 82 cents per share, 4 cents lower than analysts expected.

Revenue excluding excises taxes rose 3.6 percent to $1.25 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.31 billion.

Lorillard Inc., based in Greensboro, N.C., says its cigarette shipments fell 1.6 percent.

Volumes of Newport, Lorillard's biggest brand, increased less than 1 percent. The brand's U.S. retail market share grew to 12.7 percent.