THE RESULTS: Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc.'s net income fell about 57 percent to $444 million, or 21 cents per share, in the second quarter on charges related to lease transactions, but while cigarette sales fell slightly, it was able to command higher prices. Excluding one-time items, earnings grew 6 percent to 53 cents per share. Net revenue excluding excise taxes tumbled nearly 8 percent to $4 billion.
FEWER CIGARETTES: The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, said the number of cigarettes it sold fell less than one percent. Marlboro lost 0.2 points of market share to end up with 42.6 percent of the U.S. market.
OTHER TOBACCO: Altria sold 2 percent less of its smokeless tobacco brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal. Its Black & Mild cigars saw volumes fall slightly during the period.