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Marlboro maker Altria 3Q profit falls on charges

RICHMOND, Va. -- Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. says its third-quarter profit fell 44 percent on charges for a loss on early extinguishment of debt. But it says it sold more cigarettes at higher prices.

The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, reported net income of $657 million, or 32 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 30. That's down from $1.17 billion, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 58 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations.

Revenue, excluding excise taxes, rose about 3 percent to $4.46 billion. Analysts expected $4.36 billion.

The Richmond, Va.-based company said cigarette volumes grew about 1 percent, volumes for its smokeless tobacco products rose nearly 6 percent and cigar volumes fell 14 percent.

Its shares rose 12 cents to $32.25 in premarket trading.

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