CHICAGO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Altria Group Inc. (MO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday its Philip Morris International business plans to change its tobacco and beer equity holdings in the Dominican Republic later this month, leading to a boost in its 2006 forecast.
Philip Morris International holds a 47.5 percent stake in E. Leon Jimenes C. por. A., which has equity holdings in tobacco and beer operations in the Dominican Republic. Philip Morris International plans to exchange that stake for full ownership of E. Leon Jimenes' cigarette subsidiary, Industria de Tabaco Leon Jimenes SA, and about $427 million of cash.
Altria said the deal should add 15 cents per share to net earnings. Altria now expects to earn $5.63 to $5.68 per share this year, up from a prior forecast of $5.48 to $5.53 per share.