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Cigarette maker Lorillard 4Q profit down slightly

Wednesday - 2/13/2013, 11:30am  ET

AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. says its fourth-quarter profit fell slightly despite selling more cigarettes at higher prices.

The nation's third-biggest tobacco company said Wednesday that it earned $309 million, or 80 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31, from $310 million, or 77 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 79 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 75 cents per share.

Revenue excluding excises taxes rose 7.5 percent to $1.21 billion. Analysts expected $1.16 billion.

Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard says the number of cigarettes sold rose by less than 1 percent. The industry overall sold an estimated 1 percent fewer cigarettes.

Volumes of Newport, Lorillard's biggest brand, rose about 1 percent, but the cigarette's share of the menthol market slipped to 35.1 percent.

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