Altria will pay $500M to resolve IRS dispute

/ Source: The Associated Press

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Tuesday that it has resolved a tax dispute with the IRS and is revising its full-year earnings forecast to reflect the agreement.

The tobacco company will pay $500 million in state and federal income taxes, as well as interest, under the settlement.

Altria already took a $672 million charge last year in anticipation of the settlement, but expects to record a one-time benefit of 3 cents per share in its second quarter to adjust for the difference between the assumed and actual settlement amount.

The company said that benefit will boost its 2012 fiscal year earnings to an estimated $2.28 to $2.34 per share up from its prior expectations of $2.25 to $2.31 per share.

Altria left its full-year adjusted guidance intact at a range of $2.17 to $2.23 per share. Analysts are expecting Altria to earn $2.20 per share on an adjusted basis, according to data from FactSet.

The settlement resolves a dispute between the Richmond, Va.-based company and the government over the taxes on lease transactions handled by its subsidiary Philip Morris Capital Corp.

Altria said it does not expect the settlement to affect its dividend or share repurchase plans.

Shares of the company fell 9 cents to close at $31.76 and rose 8 cents in after-hours trading following the news.