AP Tobacco Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Lorillard is reporting a 47 percent jump in first-quarter profit as higher prices, electronic cigarette sales and lower legal expenses offset a decline in traditional cigarette sales.
The nation's third-biggest tobacco company said Wednesday that it earned $328 million, or 86 cents per share, for the period ended March 31, up from $223 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, earnings were 66 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations by two cents.
Revenue excluding excises taxes rose 6 percent to $1.12 billion, matching analyst expectations, according to FactSet.
Lorillard Inc., based in Greensboro, N.C. , says its cigarette shipments fell about 2 percent.
Volumes of Newport, Lorillard's biggest brand, fell nearly 2 percent, but its share of the menthol market grew to 37.6 percent.
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