Reynolds reports solid first-quarter outcomes

Reynolds American Inc. started fiscal 2015 with a strong performance, strengthening net gain by 7.2% to $389 million, the cigarette maker reported April, 17.

Susan Cameron, Reynolds' chief executive and president, recognized the company's general effort in "operating momentum in key brands' marketplace performance."

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Cameron did not tell about the company's suggested $27.4 billion transaction for Greensboro competitor Lorillard Inc., primarily for Newport, the best-selling U.S. menthol brand and No. 2 overall brand. Both companies' shareholders okayed the transaction Jan. 28.

The suggested transaction would involve selling three Reynolds brands (Kool, Salem, Winston), one Lorillard brand (Maverick) and Lorillard's blu eCigs to Imperial Tobacco Group Plc for $7.1 billion. That could offer Imperial as much as a 10% U.S. market share. There's every chance Reynolds may have to include its Doral brand to the transaction at no extra repayment from Imperial.

Cameron said the company is assured the transaction will close by June 30.

Reynolds reaffirmed its 2015 adjusted revenue per share suggestions between $3.65 and $3.80.

Both Camel and Pall Mall have not changed in total volume at 4.9 billion cigarette sticks and 4.8 billion cigarette sticks, correspondingly.

Camel obtained a bit on its No. 3 market share, rising 0.1 percentage point year over year to 10.1%. Pall Mall fell 0.1 percentage point to 9.3%.

Pall Mall had transferred Camel for third place for several quarters during the economic crisis, gaining from Reynolds pricing reductions, but lately fell into fourth.

Reynolds' total traditional cigarette market share decreased 0.5 percentage points to 26.1%, as the company still puts most of its marketing attempts behind Camel and Pall Mall.

Reynolds' growth brands are on solid ground with share growth in the first quarter for Camel and Santa Fe, and Vuse being best selling vapor product in convenience stores.