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Philip Morris Climbs to Highest Since 2008 on Forecast

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Philip Morris International Inc. rose to the highest since its spinoff by Altria Group Inc. almost four years ago after forecasting profit this year that was higher than analysts estimated.

The world’s largest publicly traded tobacco manufacturer gained 2.8 percent to $80.00 at 4:02 p.m. in New York, the highest closing price since March 2008.

Profit per share in 2012 will be $5.25 to $5.35, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was $5.20.

Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri boosted shipments of Marlboro and the company’s nine other biggest brands in 2011, leading to higher global market share for the fourth straight year. Philip Morris anticipates stronger growth in Asia in 2012, Camilleri told analysts today on a conference call.

“There was some fear that the guidance would not be positive, given European concerns, but it came in stronger than most analysts had expected,” Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in Des Peres, Missouri, said today by telephone. He rates Philip Morris as “buy.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Burritt in Greensboro at cburritt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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