Company Overview and History

  • Altria Group, Inc. is an American corporation in the tobacco industry.
  • It is one of the largest producers and marketers of tobacco, cigarettes, and related products globally.
  • Altria operates worldwide and is headquartered in Henrico County, Virginia.
  • The company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol MO.
  • It is a component of the S&P 500 index.
  • Altria emerged from Philip Morris Companies in 2003.
  • The rebranding was done to emphasize a diversified business portfolio beyond tobacco.
  • The name 'Altria' was chosen to mask the negatives associated with the tobacco industry.
  • Altria sold its stake in Kraft Foods in 2007 and completed the spin-off of Philip Morris International in 2008.
  • The company acquired cigar manufacturer John Middleton Co. in 2008.

Legal Issues and Controversies

  • In 2006, Altria and other tobacco companies were found guilty of misleading the public about the dangers of smoking.
  • Defendants altered the chemical form of nicotine in cigarettes to increase addiction.
  • Altria's stake in Kraft Foods was spun off in 2007, and its shares of Philip Morris International were sold in 2008.
  • The company faced social, legal, and financial troubles during the rebranding process.
  • The acquisition of UST Inc. in 2009 marked the end of competition between Marlboro smokeless tobacco products and UST's products.
  • In August 2006, Altria was found guilty of civil fraud and racketeering.
  • Lawsuit claimed Altria's marketing of light and low tar cigarettes constituted fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Altria admitted to making cigarettes more addictive in advertisements.
  • Altria was involved in the United States v. Philip Morris lawsuit.
  • Altria's use of ammonia in cigarette tobacco was studied for its effect on nicotine absorption.

Investments and Acquisitions

  • Altria acquired a 45% stake in Cronos Group, a Canadian cannabis company, in 2018.
  • It finalized the acquisition of a 35% stake in JUUL Labs, an e-cigarette company, in the same year.
  • The company took a $4.5 billion writedown on its stake in JUUL in 2019.
  • Altria invested in Swiss tobacco company Burger Söhne in 2019.
  • A joint venture called Horizon Innovations LLC was announced with Japan Tobacco in 2022.


  • In fiscal year 2020, Altria reported earnings of $4.45 billion and annual revenue of $26.15 billion.
  • The company's shares traded at over $66 per share.
  • Its market capitalization was valued at over $118.5 billion in October 2018.
  • Altria ranked 154th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest US corporations by revenue in 2018.
  • The company's financial performance has seen fluctuations over the years.

Corporate Governance, Headquarters, and Political Influence

  • Elizabeth E. Bailey, professor emerita, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gerald L. Baliles (2008–2019), director, Miller Center of Public Affairs at University of Virginia; former Virginia governor
  • Martin Barrington, chairman and CEO, Altria Group, Inc.
  • John T. Casteen III (2010– ), president emeritus, University of Virginia
  • Dinyar S. Devitre (2008– ), special advisor, General Atlantic Partners, New York, NY; former SVP and CFO of Altria
  • Former Altria Headquarters in Manhattan, New York
  • Philip Morris moved its headquarters to Virginia in 2003, saving over $60 million annually
  • Altria's current head offices are in an unincorporated area of Henrico County, Virginia
  • Altria has a 450,000-square-foot, $350 million Center for Research and Technology in downtown Richmond
  • The center employs approximately 600 scientists, engineers, and support staff
  • Altria spent around $101 million on lobbying the US government between 1998 and 2004
  • Altria funded The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, which lobbied against the scientific consensus on climate change
  • Daniel Smith, representing Altria, sits on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council

Altria Data Sources

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