Form 10-Q
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

(Mark One)

 

(X)

    

QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2011
OR

(  )

    

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to             

Commission File Number 1-8940                              

Altria Group, Inc.

 

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Virginia                                                               13-3260245

(State or other jurisdiction of                                      

       incorporation or organization)                                      

  

(I.R.S. Employer

       Identification No.)

 

6601 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia                                23230
(Address of principal executive offices)                                        (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

 

(804) 274-2200

 

 

 

 

Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes þ          No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes þ          No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer þ   Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)  ¨   Smaller reporting company ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes ¨          No þ

At April 18, 2011, there were 2,093,387,178 shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock, par value $0.33 1/3 per share.


Table of Contents

ALTRIA GROUP, INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

         Page No.

PART I -

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

  

Item 1.

 

Financial Statements (Unaudited)

  
 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010

   3 – 4
 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011 and 2010

   5
 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for the Year Ended December 31, 2010 and the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011

   6
 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011 and 2010

   7 – 8
 

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

   9 – 67

Item 2.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

   68 – 105

Item 4.

 

Controls and Procedures

   106

PART II -

 

OTHER INFORMATION

  

Item 1.

 

Legal Proceedings

   107

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

   107

Item 2.

 

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

   107

Item 6.

 

Exhibits

   108 – 109

Signature

     110

 

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Table of Contents

PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Financial Statements.

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(in millions of dollars)

(Unaudited)

 

     March 31,
2011
     December 31,
2010
 

ASSETS

     

Consumer products

     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $   3,432       $   2,314   

Receivables

     71         85   

Inventories:

     

Leaf tobacco

     925         960   

Other raw materials

     174         160   

Work in process

     299         299   

Finished product

     426         384   
                 
     1,824         1,803   

Deferred income taxes

     1,163         1,165   

Other current assets

     498         614   
                 

Total current assets

     6,988         5,981   

Property, plant and equipment, at cost

     5,099         5,150   

Less accumulated depreciation

     2,760         2,770   
                 
     2,339         2,380   

Goodwill

     5,174         5,174   

Other intangible assets, net

     12,112         12,118   

Investment in SABMiller

     5,649         5,367   

Other assets

     1,821         1,851   
                 

Total consumer products assets

     34,083         32,871   

Financial services

     

Finance assets, net

     4,483         4,502   

Other assets

     18         29   
                 

Total financial services assets

     4,501         4,531   
                 

TOTAL ASSETS

   $  38,584       $  37,402   
                 

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

Continued

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Continued)

(in millions of dollars, except share and per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

     March 31,
2011
    December 31,
2010
 

LIABILITIES

    

Consumer products

    

Accounts payable

   $       282      $       529   

Accrued liabilities:

    

Marketing

     420        447   

Taxes, except income taxes

     283        231   

Employment costs

     94        232   

Settlement charges

     4,568        3,535   

Other

     1,102        1,069   

Income taxes

     337     

Dividends payable

     798        797   
                

Total current liabilities

     7,884        6,840   

Long-term debt

     12,194        12,194   

Deferred income taxes

     4,742        4,618   

Accrued pension costs

     987        1,191   

Accrued postretirement health care costs

     2,412        2,402   

Other liabilities

     895        949   
                

Total consumer products liabilities

     29,114        28,194   

Financial services

    

Deferred income taxes

     3,770        3,880   

Other liabilities

     212        101   
                

Total financial services liabilities

     3,982        3,981   
                

Total liabilities

     33,096        32,175   

Contingencies (Note 11)

    

Redeemable noncontrolling interest

     33        32   

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

    

Common stock, par value $0.33 1/3 per share
(2,805,961,317 shares issued)

     935        935   

Additional paid-in capital

     5,621        5,751   

Earnings reinvested in the business

     23,601        23,459   

Accumulated other comprehensive losses

     (1,391     (1,484

Cost of repurchased stock
(712,642,227 shares in 2011 and 717,221,651 shares in 2010)

     (23,313     (23,469
                

Total stockholders’ equity attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

     5,453        5,192   

Noncontrolling interests

     2        3   
                

Total stockholders’ equity

     5,455        5,195   
                

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

   $  38,584      $  37,402   
                

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings

(in millions of dollars, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

    For the Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
    2011     2010  

Net revenues

  $  5,643      $  5,760   

Cost of sales

    1,795        1,867   

Excise taxes on products

    1,700        1,809   
               

Gross profit

    2,148        2,084   

Marketing, administration and research costs

    601        641   

Asset impairment and exit costs

    2        7   

Amortization of intangibles

    6        6   
               

Operating income

    1,539        1,430   

Interest and other debt expense, net

    278        287   

Earnings from equity investment in SABMiller

    (189     (138
               

Earnings before income taxes

    1,450        1,281   

Provision for income taxes

    512        468   
               

Net earnings

    938        813   

Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests

    (1  
               

Net earnings attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

  $     937      $     813   
               

Per share data:

   

Basic earnings per share attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

  $    0.45      $    0.39   
               

Diluted earnings per share attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

  $    0.45      $    0.39   
               

Dividends declared

  $    0.38      $    0.35   
               

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity

for the Year Ended December 31, 2010 and

the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011

(in millions of dollars, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

    Attributable to Altria Group, Inc.              
    Common
Stock
    Additional
Paid-in
Capital
    Earnings
Reinvested

in the
Business
    Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive

Losses               
    Cost of
Repurchased
Stock      
    Comprehensive
Earnings
    Non-
controlling
Interests
    Total
Stockholders’
Equity     
 

Balances, December 31, 2009

  $ 935      $ 5,997      $ 22,599      $ (1,561   $ (23,901   $       -      $       3      $  4,072   

Comprehensive earnings:

               

Net earnings (1)

        3,905            3,905        1        3,906   

Other comprehensive earnings, net of income taxes:

               

Currency translation adjustments

          1          1          1   

Change in net loss and prior service cost

          35          35          35   

Ownership share of SABMiller other comprehensive earnings

          41          41          41   
                                 

Total other comprehensive earnings

              77        -        77   
                                 

Total comprehensive earnings (2)

              3,982        1        3,983   
                                 

Exercise of stock options and other stock award activity

      (246         432            186   

Cash dividends declared ($1.46 per share)

        (3,045             (3,045

Other

                (1     (1
                                                         

Balances, December 31, 2010

    935        5,751        23,459        (1,484     (23,469       3        5,195   

Comprehensive earnings:

               

Net earnings (1)

        937            937          937   

Other comprehensive earnings, net of income taxes:

               

Change in net loss and prior service cost

          32          32          32   

Ownership share of SABMiller other comprehensive earnings

          61          61          61   
                                 

Total other comprehensive earnings

              93        -        93   
                                 

Total comprehensive earnings

              1,030        -        1,030   
                                 

Exercise of stock options and other stock award activity

      (130         156            26   

Cash dividends declared ($0.38 per share)

        (795             (795

Other

                (1     (1
                                                         

Balances, March 31, 2011

  $ 935      $ 5,621      $ 23,601      $ (1,391   $ (23,313     $       2      $ 5,455   
                                                         

 

(1) 

Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010 exclude $1 million due to the redeemable noncontrolling interest related to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, which is reported in the mezzanine equity section in the condensed consolidated balance sheets at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. See Note 11.

(2) 

Total comprehensive earnings were $883 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010, all of which were comprehensive earnings attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(in millions of dollars)

(Unaudited)

 

     For the Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
    

 

2011

    2010  

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) OPERATING ACTIVITIES

    

Net earnings - Consumer products

   $   925      $   804   

  - Financial services

     13        9   
                

Net earnings

     938        813   

Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to operating cash flows:

    

Consumer products

    

Depreciation and amortization

     60        69   

Deferred income tax provision

     72        69   

Earnings from equity investment in SABMiller

     (189     (138

Asset impairment and exit costs, net of cash paid

     (16     (77

Cash effects of changes:

    

Receivables, net

     (5     (58

Inventories

     (21     (3

Accounts payable

     (66     (8

Income taxes

     396        341   

Accrued liabilities and other current assets

     (96     (176

Accrued settlement charges

     1,033        1,077   

Pension plan contributions

     (204     (6

Pension provisions and postretirement, net

     63        50   

Other

     70        38   

Financial services

    

Deferred income tax benefit

     (110     (167

Other

     137        217   
                

Net cash provided by operating activities

     2,062        2,041   
                

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

Continued

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Continued)

(in millions of dollars)

(Unaudited)

 

     For the Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
     2011     2010  

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) INVESTING ACTIVITIES

    

Consumer products

    

Capital expenditures

   $ (13   $ (38

Other

     1        15   

Financial services

    

Proceeds from finance assets

     4        40   
                

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

     (8     17   
                

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) FINANCING ACTIVITIES

    

Consumer products

    

Issuances of short-term borrowings

       200   

Dividends paid on common stock

     (794     (706

Issuances of common stock

     21        21   

Other

     (163     (154
                

Net cash used in financing activities

     (936     (639
                

Cash and cash equivalents:

    

Increase

     1,118        1,419   

Balance at beginning of period

     2,314        1,871   
                

Balance at end of period

   $     3,432      $      3,290   
                

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

Note 1. Background and Basis of Presentation:

Background

At March 31, 2011, Altria Group, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries included Philip Morris USA Inc. (“PM USA”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and certain smokeless products in the United States; UST LLC (“UST”), which through its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries including U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (“USSTC”) and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (“Ste. Michelle”), is engaged in the manufacture and sale of smokeless products and wine; and John Middleton Co. (“Middleton”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco. Philip Morris Capital Corporation (“PMCC”), another wholly-owned subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc., maintains a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases. In addition, Altria Group, Inc. held a 27.1% economic and voting interest in SABMiller plc (“SABMiller”) at March 31, 2011, which is accounted for under the equity method of accounting. Altria Group, Inc.’s access to the operating cash flows of its wholly-owned subsidiaries consists of cash received from the payment of dividends and distributions, and the payment of interest on intercompany loans by its subsidiaries. In addition, Altria Group, Inc. receives cash dividends on its interest in SABMiller, if and when SABMiller pays such dividends on its stock.

In January 2011, Altria Group, Inc.’s Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion one-year share repurchase program. Share repurchases under this program depend upon marketplace conditions and other factors. No shares were repurchased during the three months ended March 31, 2011 under this share repurchase program. The share repurchase program remains subject to the discretion of Altria Group, Inc.’s Board of Directors.

Basis of Presentation

The interim condensed consolidated financial statements of Altria Group, Inc. are unaudited. It is the opinion of Altria Group, Inc.’s management that all adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the interim results presented have been reflected therein. All such adjustments were of a normal recurring nature. Net revenues and net earnings for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for the entire year.

These statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes, which appear in Altria Group, Inc.’s Annual Report to Shareholders and which are incorporated by reference into Altria Group, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.

Balance sheet accounts are segregated by two broad types of businesses. Consumer products assets and liabilities are classified as either current or non-current, whereas financial services assets and liabilities are unclassified, in accordance with respective industry practices.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 2. Asset Impairment, Exit, Implementation and Integration Costs:

For the three months ended March 31, 2011, total pre-tax asset impairment and exit costs were $2 million, all of which were reported in the cigarettes segment. There were no implementation and integration costs incurred during the three months ended March 31, 2011.

Pre-tax asset impairment, exit, implementation and integration costs for the three months ended March 31, 2010 consisted of the following:

 

     Asset Impairment
and Exit Costs
     Implementation
Costs
     Integration
Costs
     Total  
     (in millions)  

Cigarettes

   $ 5       $ 24       $     -       $   29   

Smokeless products

     2            7         9   

Cigars

           1         1   

Wine

           1         1   
                                   

Total

   $ 7       $ 24       $ 9       $   40   
                                   

The movement in the severance liability and details of asset impairment and exit costs for Altria Group, Inc. for the three months ended March 31, 2011 was as follows:

 

     Severance     Other     Total  
           (in millions)        

Severance liability balance, December 31, 2010

   $     26      $       -      $   26   

Charges

       2        2   

Cash spent

     (13     (5     (18

Other

       3        3   
                        

Severance liability balance, March 31, 2011

   $     13      $       -      $   13   
                        

Manufacturing Optimization Program:

PM USA ceased production at its Cabarrus, North Carolina manufacturing facility and completed the consolidation of its cigarette manufacturing capacity into its Richmond, Virginia facility on July 29, 2009. PM USA took this action to address ongoing cigarette volume declines including the impact of the federal excise tax increase enacted in early 2009. In April 2011, PM USA completed the de-commissioning of the Cabarrus facility.

PM USA continues to market for sale the Cabarrus facility and land. The future sale of the Cabarrus facility and land is not expected to have a material impact on the financial results of Altria Group, Inc.

As a result of this consolidation program, which commenced in 2007, PM USA expects to incur total pre-tax charges of approximately $800 million, which consist of employee separation costs of $325 million, accelerated depreciation of $275 million and other charges of $200 million, primarily related to the relocation of employees and equipment, net of estimated gains on sales of land and buildings. Total pre-tax charges incurred for the program through March 31, 2011 of $826 million, which are reflected in the cigarettes segment, do not reflect estimated gains from the future sales of land and buildings.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

PM USA recorded pre-tax charges for this program as follows:

 

     For the Three Months  Ended
March 31,
 
     2011      2010  
     (in millions)  

Asset impairment and exit costs

   $ 2       $ 5   

Implementation costs

        24   
                 

Total

   $ 2       $ 29   
                 

Pre-tax implementation costs related to this program were primarily related to accelerated depreciation and were included in cost of sales in the condensed consolidated statement of earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2010.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 3. Benefit Plans:

Subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc. sponsor noncontributory defined benefit pension plans covering substantially all employees of Altria Group, Inc. In certain subsidiaries, however, employees hired on or after a date specific to their employee group are eligible to participate in an enhanced defined contribution plan. This transition for new hires occurred from October 1, 2006 to January 1, 2008. In addition, effective January 1, 2010, certain employees of UST and Middleton who were participants in noncontributory defined benefit pension plans ceased to earn additional benefit service under those plans and became eligible to participate in an enhanced defined contribution plan. Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries also provide health care and other benefits to the majority of retired employees.

Pension Plans

Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost

Net periodic pension cost consisted of the following:

 

    For the Three Months  Ended
March 31,
 
    2011     2010  
    (in millions)  

Service cost

  $  19      $  21   

Interest cost

    87        89   

Expected return on plan assets

    (106     (104

Amortization:

   

Net loss

    43        33   

Prior service cost

    4        3   
               

Net periodic pension cost

  $  47      $  42   
               

Employer Contributions

Altria Group, Inc. makes contributions to the extent that they are tax deductible, and to pay benefits that relate to plans for salaried employees that cannot be funded under Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regulations. On January 7, 2011, Altria Group, Inc. made a voluntary $200 million contribution to its pension plans. Additional employer contributions of $4 million were made to Altria Group, Inc.’s pension plans during the three months ended March 31, 2011. Currently, Altria Group, Inc. anticipates making additional employer contributions of approximately $26 million to $46 million during the remainder of 2011 to its pension plans, based on current tax law. However, these estimates are subject to change as a result of changes in tax and other benefit laws, as well as asset performance significantly above or below the assumed long-term rate of return on pension assets, or changes in interest rates.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Postretirement Benefit Plans

Net postretirement health care costs consisted of the following:

 

     For the Three Months  Ended
March 31,
 
     2011     2010  
     (in millions)  

Service cost

   $   9      $   9   

Interest cost

     34        35   

Amortization:

    

Net loss

     9        8   

Prior service credit

     (5     (4
                

Net postretirement health care costs

   $  47      $  48   
                

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 4. Earnings from Equity Investment in SABMiller:

Pre-tax earnings from Altria Group, Inc.’s equity investment in SABMiller consisted of the following:

 

     For the Three Months  Ended
March 31,
 
     2011      2010  
     (in millions)  

Equity earnings

   $  185       $  106   

Gains resulting from issuances of common stock by SABMiller

     4         32   
                 
   $  189       $  138   
                 

Note 5. Earnings Per Share:

Basic and diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) were calculated using the following:

 

     For the Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
     2011     2010  
     (in millions)  

Net earnings attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

   $     937      $     813   

Less: Distributed and undistributed earnings attributable to unvested restricted and deferred shares

     (4     (3
                

Earnings for basic and diluted EPS

   $     933      $     810   
                

Weighted-average shares for basic EPS

     2,084        2,074   

Add: Incremental shares from stock options

       3   
                

Weighted-average shares for diluted EPS

     2,084        2,077   
                

For the three months ended March 31, 2011 and 2010 computations, there were no antidilutive stock options.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 6. Accumulated Other Comprehensive Losses:

The following table sets forth the changes in each component of accumulated other comprehensive losses, net of income taxes, attributable to Altria Group, Inc.:

 

     Currency
Translation
Adjustments
     Changes in Net
Loss and Prior
Service Cost
    Ownership of
SABMiller’s
Other
Comprehensive

Earnings
     Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive

Losses
 
     (in millions)  

Balances, December 31, 2009

   $ 3       $ (1,846 )     $ 282       $ (1,561

Period Change

     1         35        41         77   
                                  

Balances, December 31, 2010

     4         (1,811 )       323         (1,484

Period Change

        32        61         93   
                                  

Balances, March 31, 2011

   $   4       $ (1,779   $ 384       $ (1,391
                                  

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 7. Segment Reporting:

The products of Altria Group, Inc.’s consumer products subsidiaries include cigarettes manufactured and sold by PM USA, smokeless products manufactured and sold by or on behalf of USSTC and PM USA, machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco manufactured and sold by Middleton, and wine produced and/or distributed by Ste. Michelle. Another subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc., PMCC, maintains a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases. The products and services of these subsidiaries constitute Altria Group, Inc.’s reportable segments of cigarettes, smokeless products, cigars, wine and financial services.

Altria Group, Inc.’s chief operating decision maker reviews operating companies income to evaluate segment performance and allocate resources. Operating companies income for the segments excludes general corporate expenses and amortization of intangibles. Interest and other debt expense, net (consumer products), and provision for income taxes are centrally managed at the corporate level and, accordingly, such items are not presented by segment since they are excluded from the measure of segment profitability reviewed by Altria Group, Inc.’s chief operating decision maker.

Segment data were as follows:

 

     For the Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
         2011             2010      
     (in millions)  

Net revenues:

    

Cigarettes

   $ 5,026      $ 5,123   

Smokeless products

     379        381   

Cigars

     117        135   

Wine

     101        95   

Financial services

     20        26   
                

Net revenues

   $ 5,643      $ 5,760   
                

Earnings before income taxes:

    

Operating companies income:

    

Cigarettes

   $ 1,347      $ 1,230   

Smokeless products

     193        178   

Cigars

     22        47   

Wine

     12        7   

Financial services

     21        21   

Amortization of intangibles

     (6     (6

General corporate expenses

     (50     (47 )  
                

Operating income

     1,539        1,430   

Interest and other debt expense, net

     (278     (287 )  

Earnings from equity investment in SABMiller

     189        138   
                

Earnings before income taxes

   $ 1,450      $ 1,281   
                

See Note 2. Asset Impairment, Exit, Implementation and Integration Costs for a breakdown of asset impairment, exit, implementation and integration costs by segment, which affect the comparability of operating companies income for the segments.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 8. Finance Assets, net:

At March 31, 2011, finance assets, net, of $4,483 million were comprised of investments in finance leases of $4,685 million, reduced by the allowance for losses of $202 million. At December 31, 2010, finance assets, net, of $4,502 million were comprised of investments in finance leases of $4,704 million, reduced by the allowance for losses of $202 million.

PMCC has assessed its allowance for losses for its entire portfolio, and believes that the allowance for losses of $202 million is adequate. PMCC continues to monitor economic and credit conditions, and the individual situations of its lessees and their respective industries, and may have to increase its allowance for losses if such conditions worsen. All PMCC lessees were current on their lease payment obligations as of March 31, 2011.

The credit quality of PMCC’s investments in finance leases as assigned by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“Standard & Poor’s”) and Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010 was as follows:

 

    March 31, 2011     December 31, 2010  
    (in millions)          

Credit Rating by Standard & Poor’s/Moody’s:

   

“AAA/Aaa” to “A-/A3”

  $ 2,347      $ 2,343   

“BBB+/Baa1” to “BBB-/Baa3”

    1,144        1,148   

“BB+/Ba1” and Lower

    1,194        1,213   
               

Total

  $ 4,685      $ 4,704   
               

The activity in the allowance for losses on finance assets for the three months ended March 31, 2011 and 2010 was as follows:

 

     For the Three Months  Ended
March 31,
 
     2011      2010  
     (in millions)  

Balance at beginning of the year

   $   202       $   266   

Amounts written-off

        (64
                 

Balance at March 31

   $   202       $   202   
                 

PMCC leased, under several lease arrangements, various types of automotive manufacturing equipment to General Motors Corporation (“GM”), which filed for bankruptcy on June 1, 2009. As of the date of the bankruptcy filing, PMCC stopped recording income on its $214 million investment in finance leases from GM. During 2009, GM rejected one of the leases, which resulted in a $49 million write-off against PMCC’s allowance for losses, lowering the investment in finance leases balance from GM to $165 million. General Motors LLC (“New GM”), which is the successor of GM’s North American automobile business, agreed to assume nearly all the remaining leases under same terms as GM, except for a rebate of a portion of future rents. The assignment of the leases to New GM was approved by the bankruptcy court and became effective in March 2010. During the first quarter of 2010, GM rejected another lease that was not assigned to New GM. The impact of the rent rebates and the 2010 lease rejection resulted in a $64 million write-off against PMCC’s allowance for losses in the first quarter of 2010. In the first quarter of 2010, PMCC participated in a transaction pursuant to which the equipment related to the rejected leases was sold to New GM. These transactions resulted in an acceleration of deferred taxes of $34 million in 2010. As of March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, PMCC’s investment in finance leases from New GM was $101 million.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

See Note 11. Contingencies for a discussion of the IRS’s disallowance of certain tax benefits pertaining to several PMCC leveraged lease transactions.

Note 9. Fair Value of Debt:

The aggregate fair value, based substantially on readily available quoted market prices, of Altria Group, Inc.’s total debt at March 31, 2011, was $15.4 billion, as compared with its carrying value of $12.2 billion. The aggregate fair value, based substantially on readily available quoted market prices, of Altria Group, Inc.’s total debt at December 31, 2010, was $15.5 billion, as compared with its carrying value of $12.2 billion.

Note 10. Income Taxes:

The income tax rate of 35.3% for the first quarter of 2011 decreased 1.2 percentage points from 36.5% for the first quarter of 2010, due primarily to a charge of $12 million in the first quarter of 2010 resulting from the elimination of tax deductions for retiree prescription drug subsidies under the 2010 healthcare legislation.

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Note 11. Contingencies:

Legal proceedings covering a wide range of matters are pending or threatened in various United States and foreign jurisdictions against Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including PM USA and UST and its subsidiaries, as well as their respective indemnitees. Various types of claims are raised in these proceedings, including product liability, consumer protection, antitrust, tax, contraband shipments, patent infringement, employment matters, claims for contribution and claims of distributors.

Litigation is subject to uncertainty and it is possible that there could be adverse developments in pending or future cases. An unfavorable outcome or settlement of pending tobacco-related or other litigation could encourage the commencement of additional litigation. Damages claimed in some tobacco-related and other litigation are or can be significant and, in certain cases, range in the billions of dollars. The variability in pleadings in multiple jurisdictions, together with the actual experience of management in litigating claims, demonstrate that the monetary relief that may be specified in a lawsuit bears little relevance to the ultimate outcome. In certain cases, plaintiffs claim that defendants’ liability is joint and several. In such cases, Altria Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries may face the risk that one or more co-defendants decline or otherwise fail to participate in the bonding required for an appeal or to pay their proportionate or jury-allocated share of a judgment. As a result, Altria Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries under certain circumstances may have to pay more than their proportionate share of any bonding- or judgment-related amounts.

Although PM USA has historically been able to obtain required bonds or relief from bonding requirements in order to prevent plaintiffs from seeking to collect judgments while adverse verdicts have been appealed, there remains a risk that such relief may not be obtainable in all cases. This risk has been substantially reduced given that 43 states now limit the dollar amount of bonds or require no bond at all. As discussed below, however, tobacco litigation plaintiffs have challenged the constitutionality of Florida’s bond cap statute in several cases and plaintiffs may challenge other state bond cap statutes. Although we cannot predict the outcome of such challenges, it is possible that the consolidated results of operations, cash flows or financial position of Altria Group, Inc., or one or more of its subsidiaries, could be materially affected in a particular fiscal quarter or fiscal year by an unfavorable outcome of one or more such challenges.

Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries record provisions in the consolidated financial statements for pending litigation when they determine that an unfavorable outcome is probable and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. At the present time, while it is reasonably possible that an unfavorable outcome in a case may occur, except as discussed elsewhere in this Note 11. Contingencies: (i) management has concluded that it is not probable that a loss has been incurred in any of the pending tobacco-related cases; (ii) management is unable to estimate the possible loss or range of loss that could result from an unfavorable outcome in any of the pending tobacco-related cases; and (iii) accordingly, management has not provided any amounts in the consolidated financial statements for unfavorable outcomes, if any. Legal defense costs are expensed as incurred.

Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries have achieved substantial success in managing litigation. Nevertheless, litigation is subject to uncertainty and significant challenges remain. It is possible that the consolidated results of operations, cash flows or financial position of Altria Group, Inc., or one or more of its subsidiaries, could be materially affected in a particular fiscal quarter or fiscal year by an unfavorable outcome or settlement of certain pending litigation. Altria Group, Inc. and each of its subsidiaries named as a defendant believe, and each has been so advised by counsel handling the respective cases, that it has valid defenses to the litigation pending against it, as well as valid bases for appeal of adverse verdicts. Each of the companies has defended, and will continue to defend, vigorously against litigation challenges. However, Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries may enter into settlement discussions in particular cases if they believe it is in the best interests of Altria Group, Inc. to do so.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Overview of Altria Group, Inc. and/or PM USA Tobacco-Related Litigation

Types and Number of Cases

Claims related to tobacco products generally fall within the following categories: (i) smoking and health cases alleging personal injury brought on behalf of individual plaintiffs; (ii) smoking and health cases primarily alleging personal injury or seeking court-supervised programs for ongoing medical monitoring and purporting to be brought on behalf of a class of individual plaintiffs, including cases in which the aggregated claims of a number of individual plaintiffs are to be tried in a single proceeding; (iii) health care cost recovery cases brought by governmental (both domestic and foreign) and non-governmental plaintiffs seeking reimbursement for health care expenditures allegedly caused by cigarette smoking and/or disgorgement of profits; (iv) class action suits alleging that the uses of the terms “Lights” and “Ultra Lights” constitute deceptive and unfair trade practices, common law fraud, or violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”); and (v) other tobacco-related litigation described below. Plaintiffs’ theories of recovery and the defenses raised in pending smoking and health, health care cost recovery and “Lights/Ultra Lights” cases are discussed below.

The table below lists the number of certain tobacco-related cases pending in the United States against PM USA and, in some instances, Altria Group, Inc. as of April 25, 2011, April 26, 2010 and May 1, 2009.

 

Type of Case  

Number of Cases
Pending as of
April 25, 2011

    

Number of Cases
Pending as of
April 26, 2010

    

Number of Cases
Pending as of
May 1, 2009

Individual Smoking and Health Cases (1)

 

89

    

85

    

96

Smoking and Health Class Actions and Aggregated Claims Litigation (2)  

10

    

7

    

7

Health Care Cost Recovery Actions

 

3

    

3

    

2

“Lights/Ultra Lights” Class Actions

 

30

    

28

    

27

Tobacco Price Cases

 

1

    

2

    

2

 

  (1)

Does not include 2,587 cases brought by flight attendants seeking compensatory damages for personal injuries allegedly caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (“ETS”). The flight attendants allege that they are members of an ETS smoking and health class action, which was settled in 1997 (Broin). The terms of the court-approved settlement in that case allow class members to file individual lawsuits seeking compensatory damages, but prohibit them from seeking punitive damages. Also, does not include approximately 7,225 individual smoking and health cases (3,316 state court cases and 3,939 federal court cases) brought by or on behalf of approximately 8,885 plaintiffs in Florida (4,947 state court plaintiffs and 3,938 federal court plaintiffs) following the decertification of the Engle case discussed below. It is possible that some of these cases are duplicates and that additional cases have been filed but not yet recorded on the courts’ dockets. Certain Broin plaintiffs have filed a motion seeking approximately $50 million in sanctions for alleged interference by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (“R.J. Reynolds”) and PM USA with Lorillard, Inc.’s acceptance of offers of settlement in the Broin progeny cases.

 

  (2)

Includes as one case the 638 civil actions (of which 366 are actions against PM USA) that are proposed to be tried in a single proceeding in West Virginia (In re: Tobacco Litigation). Middleton and USSTC were named as defendants in this action but they, along with other non-cigarette manufacturers, have been severed from this case. The

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

 

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled that the United States Constitution does not preclude a trial in two phases in this case. Under the current trial plan, issues related to defendants’ conduct and plaintiffs’ entitlement to punitive damages would be determined in the first phase. The second phase would consist of individual trials to determine liability, if any, as well as compensatory and punitive damages, if any. The case is currently scheduled for trial on October 17, 2011.

International Tobacco-Related Cases

As of April 25, 2011, PM USA is a named defendant in Israel in one “Lights” class action and one health care cost recovery action. PM USA is a named defendant in four health care cost recovery actions in Canada, three of which also name Altria Group, Inc. as a defendant. PM USA and Altria Group, Inc. are also named defendants in six smoking and health class actions filed in various Canadian provinces. See “Guarantees” for a discussion of the Distribution Agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. (“PMI”) that provides for indemnities for certain liabilities concerning tobacco products.

Pending and Upcoming Tobacco-Related Trials

As of April 25, 2011, 33 Engle progeny cases and 5 individual smoking and health cases against PM USA are set for trial in 2011. Cases against other companies in the tobacco industry are also scheduled for trial in 2011. Trial dates are subject to change.

Trial Results

Since January 1999, verdicts have been returned in 69 smoking and health, “Lights/Ultra Lights” and health care cost recovery cases in which PM USA was a defendant. Verdicts in favor of PM USA and other defendants were returned in 40 of the 69 cases. These 40 cases were tried in California (5), Florida (19), Louisiana (1) (the Scott case discussed below), Mississippi (1), Missouri (2), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (2), and West Virginia (1). A motion for a new trial was granted in one of the cases in Florida.

Of the 29 cases in which verdicts were returned in favor of plaintiffs, eleven have reached final resolution and one case (Williams – see below) has reached partial resolution. A verdict against defendants in one health care cost recovery case (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) has been reversed and all claims were dismissed with prejudice. In addition, a verdict against defendants in a purported “Lights” class action in Illinois (Price) was reversed and the case was dismissed with prejudice in December 2006. In December 2008, the plaintiff in Price filed a motion with the state trial court to vacate the judgment dismissing this case in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Good (see below for a discussion of developments in Good and Price). After exhausting all appeals, PM USA has paid judgments in these cases totaling $116.4 million and interest totaling $70.6 million.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

The chart below lists the verdicts and post-trial developments in the cases that were pending during 2011 in which verdicts were returned in favor of plaintiffs.

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

April 2011

  

Florida/Allen

 

Engle

progeny

  On April 26, 2011, a Duval County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded a total of $6 million in compensatory damages and $17 million in punitive damages against each of the defendants. The allocation of the compensatory award is not yet resolved.      

April 2011

  

Florida/Tullo

 

Engle

progeny

  On April 13, 2011, a Palm Beach County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA, Lorillard Tobacco Company and Liggett Group. The jury awarded a total of $4.5 million in compensatory damages and allocated 45% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of $2,025,000).       On April 19, 2011, the trial court entered final judgment.

February 2011

  

Florida/

Huish

 

Engle

progeny

  On February 22, 2011, an Alachua County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA. The jury awarded $750,000 in compensatory damages and allocated 25% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of $187,500). On February 24, 2011, the jury also awarded $1.5 million in punitive damages against PM USA.       On March 3, 2011, the trial court entered final judgment. PM USA filed post-trial motions, which were denied on April 14, 2011. PM USA intends to appeal the verdict.

February 2011

  

Florida/ Hatziyannakis

 

Engle

progeny

  On February 15, 2011, a Broward County jury returned a verdict       On April 1, 2011, the trial court denied PM USA’s post-trial motions for a new trial

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA. The jury awarded approximately $270,000 in compensatory damages and allocated 32% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of approximately $86,000).       and to set aside the verdict. PM USA intends to appeal the verdict.

August 2010

  

Florida/

Piendle

 

Engle

progeny

  In August 2010, a Palm Beach County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and allocated 27.5% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of approximately $1.1 million). The jury also awarded $90,000 in punitive damages against PM USA.       In September 2010, the trial court entered final judgment. On January 18, 2011, the trial court denied the parties’ post-trial motions. On February 8, 2011, PM USA filed its notice of appeal and has posted a $1.2 million bond.

July 2010

  

Florida/

Tate

 

Engle

progeny

  In July 2010, a Broward County jury in the Tate trial returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against PM USA. The jury awarded $8 million in compensatory damages and allocated 64% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of approximately $5.1       In August 2010, the trial court entered final judgment, and PM USA filed its notice of appeal and posted a $5 million appeal bond.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       million). The jury also awarded approximately $16.3 million in punitive damages against PM USA.      

April 2010

  

Florida/

Putney

 

Engle

progeny

  In April 2010, a Broward County jury in the Putney trial returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against PM USA, R.J. Reynolds and Liggett Group. The jury awarded approximately $15.1 million in compensatory damages and allocated 15% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of approximately $2.3 million). The jury also awarded $2.5 million in punitive damages against PM USA.       In August 2010, the trial court entered final judgment. PM USA filed its notice of appeal and posted a $1.6 million appeal bond.

March 2010

  

Florida/

R. Cohen

 

Engle

progeny

  In March 2010, a Broward County jury in the R. Cohen trial returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and allocated 33 1/3% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of approximately $3.3       In July 2010, the trial court entered final judgment and, in August 2010, PM USA filed its notice of appeal. In October 2010, PM USA posted a $2.5 million appeal bond.

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       million). The jury also awarded a total of $20 million in punitive damages, assessing separate $10 million awards against both defendants.      

March 2010

  

Florida/

Douglas

 

Engle

progeny

  In March 2010, the jury in the Douglas trial (conducted in Hillsborough County) returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against PM USA, R.J. Reynolds and Liggett Group. The jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages. Punitive damages were dismissed prior to trial. The jury allocated 18% of the fault to PM USA, resulting in an award of $900,000.       In June 2010, PM USA filed its notice of appeal and posted a $900,000 appeal bond. In September 2010, the plaintiff filed with the trial court a challenge to the constitutionality of the Florida bond cap statute.

November 2009

  

Florida/

Naugle

 

Engle

progeny

  In November 2009, a Broward County jury in the Naugle trial returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against PM USA. The jury awarded approximately $56.6 million in compensatory damages and $244 million in punitive damages. The jury allocated 90% of the fault to PM       In March 2010, the trial court entered final judgment reflecting a reduced award of approximately $13 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages. In April 2010, PM USA filed its notice of appeal and posted a $5 million appeal bond. In August 2010, upon the motion of PM

 

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Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       USA.       USA, the trial court entered an amended final judgment of approximately $12.3 million in compensatory damages and approximately $24.5 million in punitive damages to correct a clerical error. The case remains on appeal.

August 2009

  

Florida/

F. Campbell

 

Engle

progeny

  In August 2009, the jury in the F. Campbell trial (conducted in Escambia County) returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against R.J. Reynolds, PM USA and Liggett Group. The jury awarded $7.8 million in compensatory damages. In September 2009, the trial court entered final judgment and awarded the plaintiff $156,000 in damages against PM USA due to the jury allocating only 2% of the fault to PM USA.       In January 2010, defendants filed their notice of appeal, and PM USA posted a $156,000 appeal bond. On March 14, 2011, the Florida First District Court of Appeals affirmed per curiam (with citation) the trial court’s decision without issuing an opinion. PM USA has asked the Court of Appeals to certify its decision to the Florida Supreme Court as a matter of public importance.

August 2009

  

Florida/

Barbanell

 

Engle

progeny

  In August 2009, a Broward County jury in the Barbanell trial returned a verdict in favor of the       A notice of appeal was filed by PM USA in September 2009, and PM USA posted a $1.95 million appeal bond.

 

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Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       plaintiff, awarding $5.3 million in compensatory damages. The judge had previously dismissed the punitive damages claim. In September 2009, the trial court entered final judgment and awarded plaintiff $1.95 million in actual damages. The judgment reduced the jury’s $5.3 million award of compensatory damages due to the jury allocating 36.5% of the fault to PM USA.      

February 2009

  

Florida/

Hess

 

Engle

progeny

  In February 2009, a Broward County jury in the Hess trial found in favor of plaintiffs and against PM USA. The jury awarded $3 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. In June 2009, the trial court entered final judgment and awarded plaintiffs $1,260,000 in actual damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The judgment reduced the jury’s $3 million award of compensatory       PM USA noticed an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in July 2009. In April 2010, the trial court signed an order releasing a previously posted bond pursuant to an agreement between the parties. The case remains on appeal to the Florida District Court of Appeals for the Fourth District. Argument was heard on March 16, 2011.

 

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Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

       damages due to the jury allocating 42% of the fault to PM USA.      

August 2006

  

District of Columbia/

United States of America

  Health Care Cost Recovery   Finding that defendants, including Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA, violated the civil provisions of RICO. No monetary damages were assessed, but the court made specific findings and issued injunctions. See Federal Government’s Lawsuit below.       See Federal Government’s Lawsuit below.

May 2004

  

Louisiana/

Scott

  Smoking and Health Class Action   Approximately $590 million against all defendants, including PM USA, jointly and severally, to fund a 10-year smoking cessation program.       See Scott Class Action below.

October 2002

  

California/

Bullock

  Individual Smoking and Health   $850,000 in compensatory damages and $28 billion in punitive damages against PM USA.       See discussion (1) below.

March 2002

  

Oregon/

Schwarz

  Individual Smoking and Health   $168,500 in compensatory damages and $150 million in punitive damages against PM USA.       In May 2002, the trial court reduced the punitive damages award to $100 million. In October 2002, PM USA posted an appeal bond of approximately $58.3 million. In May 2006, the Oregon

 

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Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

             Court of Appeals affirmed the compensatory damages verdict, reversed the award of punitive damages and remanded the case to the trial court for a second trial to determine the amount of punitive damages, if any. In June 2006, plaintiff petitioned the Oregon Supreme Court to review the portion of the court of appeals’ decision reversing and remanding the case for a new trial on punitive damages. In June 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial limited to the question of punitive damages. In July 2010, plaintiff filed a petition for rehearing with the Oregon Supreme Court. On December 30, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier ruling, clarified that the only issue for retrial is the amount of punitive damages, if any, and awarded PM USA approximately $500,000 in costs. On January 7, 2011, the trial court issued an order releasing PM USA’s appeal bond.

 

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Date   

Location of

Court/ Name

of Plaintiff

 

Type of

Case

  Verdict        

Post-

Trial Developments

             On March 15, 2011, PM USA filed a claim against the plaintiffs for its costs and disbursements on appeal, plus interest.

March 1999

  

Oregon/

Williams

  Individual Smoking and Health   $800,000 in compensatory damages (capped statutorily at $500,000), $21,500 in medical expenses and $79.5 million in punitive damages against PM USA.       See discussion (2) below.

 

(1)

Bullock: In December 2002, the trial court reduced the punitive damages award to $28 million. In April 2006, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the $28 million punitive damages award. In August 2006, the California Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ petition to overturn the trial court’s reduction of the punitive damages award and granted PM USA’s petition for review challenging the punitive damages award. The court granted review of the case on a “grant and hold” basis under which further action by the court was deferred pending the United States Supreme Court’s 2007 decision on punitive damages in the Williams case described below. In February 2007, the United States Supreme Court vacated the punitive damages judgment in Williams and remanded the case to the Oregon Supreme Court for proceedings consistent with its decision. In May 2007, the California Supreme Court transferred the case to the Second District of the California Court of Appeal with directions that the court vacate its 2006 decision and reconsider the case in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Williams. In January 2008, the California Court of Appeal reversed the judgment with respect to the $28 million punitive damages award, affirmed the judgment in all other respects, and remanded the case to the trial court to conduct a new trial on the amount of punitive damages. In March 2008, plaintiffs and PM USA appealed to the California Supreme Court. In April 2008, the California Supreme Court denied both petitions for review. In July 2008, $43.3 million of escrow funds were returned to PM USA. The case was remanded to the superior court for a new trial on the amount of punitive damages, if any. In August 2009, the jury returned a verdict, and in December 2009, the superior court entered a judgment, awarding plaintiff $13.8 million in punitive damages, plus costs. In December 2009, PM USA filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict that seeks a reduction of the punitive damages award, which motion was denied in January 2010. PM USA noticed an appeal in February 2010 and posted an appeal bond of approximately $14.7 million. As of March 31, 2011, PM USA has recorded a provision of approximately $1.8 million for compensatory damages, costs and interest.

 

(2)

Williams: The trial court reduced the punitive damages award to approximately $32 million, and PM USA and plaintiff appealed. In June 2002, the Oregon Court of Appeals reinstated the $79.5 million punitive damages award. Following the Oregon Supreme Court’s refusal to hear PM

 

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USA’s appeal, PM USA recorded a provision of $32 million and petitioned the United States Supreme Court for further review (PM USA later recorded additional provisions of approximately $29 million related primarily to accrued interest). In October 2003, the United States Supreme Court set aside the Oregon appellate court’s ruling and directed the Oregon court to reconsider the case in light of the 2003 State Farm decision by the United States Supreme Court, which limited punitive damages. In June 2004, the Oregon Court of Appeals reinstated the $79.5 million punitive damages award. In February 2006, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision. The United States Supreme Court granted PM USA’s petition for writ of certiorari in May 2006. In February 2007, the United States Supreme Court vacated the $79.5 million punitive damages award, holding that the United States Constitution prohibits basing punitive damages awards on harm to non-parties. The Court also found that states must assure that appropriate procedures are in place so that juries are provided with proper legal guidance as to the constitutional limitations on awards of punitive damages. Accordingly, the Court remanded the case to the Oregon Supreme Court for further proceedings consistent with this decision. In January 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the Oregon Court of Appeals’ June 2004 decision, which in turn, upheld the jury’s compensatory damages award and reinstated the jury’s award of $79.5 million in punitive damages. In March 2008, PM USA filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which was granted in June 2008. In March 2009, the United States Supreme Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as being improvidently granted. Subsequent to the United States Supreme Court’s dismissal, PM USA paid $61.1 million to the plaintiffs, representing the compensatory damages award, forty percent of the punitive damages award and accrued interest. Oregon state law requires that sixty percent of any punitive damages award be paid to the state. However, PM USA believes that, as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), it is not liable for the sixty percent that would be paid to the state. Oregon and PM USA are parties to a proceeding in Oregon state court that seeks a determination of PM USA’s liability for that sixty percent. If PM USA prevails, its obligation to pay punitive damages will be limited to the forty percent previously paid to the plaintiff. The court has consolidated that MSA proceeding with Williams, where plaintiff seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the Oregon statute apportioning the punitive damages award and claims that any punitive damages award released by the state reverts to plaintiff. In February 2010, the trial court ruled that the state is not entitled to collect its sixty percent share of the punitive damages award. In June 2010, after hearing argument, the trial court held that, under the Oregon statute, PM USA is not required to pay the sixty percent share to plaintiff. In October 2010, the trial court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the Oregon statute regarding allocation of punitive damages is unconstitutional. The combined effect of these rulings is that PM USA would not be required to pay the state’s sixty percent share of the punitive damages award. Both the plaintiff in Williams and the state appealed these rulings to the Oregon Court of Appeals. In December 2010, on its own motion, the Oregon Court of Appeals certified the appeals to the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Supreme Court accepted certification. Argument on the merits of the appeals is set for September 19, 2011.

 

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Security for Judgments

To obtain stays of judgments pending current appeals, as of March 31, 2011, PM USA has posted various forms of security totaling approximately $45 million, the majority of which has been collateralized with cash deposits that are included in other assets on the condensed consolidated balance sheets.

Engle Class Action

In July 2000, in the second phase of the Engle smoking and health class action in Florida, a jury returned a verdict assessing punitive damages totaling approximately $145 billion against various defendants, including $74 billion against PM USA. Following entry of judgment, PM USA posted a bond in the amount of $100 million and appealed.

In May 2001, the trial court approved a stipulation providing that execution of the punitive damages component of the Engle judgment will remain stayed against PM USA and the other participating defendants through the completion of all judicial review. As a result of the stipulation, PM USA placed $500 million into a separate interest-bearing escrow account that, regardless of the outcome of the judicial review, will be paid to the court and the court will determine how to allocate or distribute it consistent with Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. In July 2001, PM USA also placed $1.2 billion into an interest-bearing escrow account, which was returned to PM USA in December 2007. In addition, the $100 million bond related to the case has been discharged. In connection with the stipulation, PM USA recorded a $500 million pre-tax charge in its consolidated statement of earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2001. In May 2003, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment entered by the trial court and instructed the trial court to order the decertification of the class. Plaintiffs petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for further review.

In July 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ordered that the punitive damages award be vacated, that the class approved by the trial court be decertified, and that members of the decertified class could file individual actions against defendants within one year of issuance of the mandate. The court further declared the following Phase I findings are entitled to res judicata effect in such individual actions brought within one year of the issuance of the mandate: (i) that smoking causes various diseases; (ii) that nicotine in cigarettes is addictive; (iii) that defendants’ cigarettes were defective and unreasonably dangerous; (iv) that defendants concealed or omitted material information not otherwise known or available knowing that the material was false or misleading or failed to disclose a material fact concerning the health effects or addictive nature of smoking; (v) that defendants agreed to misrepresent information regarding the health effects or addictive nature of cigarettes with the intention of causing the public to rely on this information to their detriment; (vi) that defendants agreed to conceal or omit information regarding the health effects of cigarettes or their addictive nature with the intention that smokers would rely on the information to their detriment; (vii) that all defendants sold or supplied cigarettes that were defective; and (viii) that defendants were negligent. The court also reinstated compensatory damages awards totaling approximately $6.9 million to two individual plaintiffs and found that a third plaintiff’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations. In February 2008, PM USA paid a total of $2,964,685, which represents its share of compensatory damages and interest to the two individual plaintiffs identified in the Florida Supreme Court’s order.

In August 2006, PM USA sought rehearing from the Florida Supreme Court on parts of its July 2006 opinion, including the ruling (described above) that certain jury findings have res judicata effect in subsequent individual trials timely brought by Engle class members. The rehearing motion also asked, among other things, that legal errors that were raised but not expressly ruled upon in the Third District Court of Appeal or in the Florida Supreme Court now be addressed. Plaintiffs also filed a motion for rehearing in August 2006 seeking clarification of the applicability of the statute of limitations to non-members of the

 

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decertified class. In December 2006, the Florida Supreme Court refused to revise its July 2006 ruling, except that it revised the set of Phase I findings entitled to res judicata effect by excluding finding (v) listed above (relating to agreement to misrepresent information), and added the finding that defendants sold or supplied cigarettes that, at the time of sale or supply, did not conform to the representations of fact made by defendants. In January 2007, the Florida Supreme Court issued the mandate from its revised opinion. Defendants then filed a motion with the Florida Third District Court of Appeal requesting that the court address legal errors that were previously raised by defendants but have not yet been addressed either by the Third District Court of Appeal or by the Florida Supreme Court. In February 2007, the Third District Court of Appeal denied defendants’ motion. In May 2007, defendants’ motion for a partial stay of the mandate pending the completion of appellate review was denied by the Third District Court of Appeal. In May 2007, defendants filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. In October 2007, the United States Supreme Court denied defendants’ petition. In November 2007, the United States Supreme Court denied defendants’ petition for rehearing from the denial of their petition for writ of certiorari.

The deadline for filing Engle progeny cases, as required by the Florida Supreme Court’s decision, expired in January 2008. As of April 25, 2011, approximately 7,225 cases (3,316 state court cases and 3,939 federal court cases) were pending against PM USA or Altria Group, Inc. asserting individual claims by or on behalf of approximately 8,885 plaintiffs (4,947 state court plaintiffs and 3,938 federal court plaintiffs). It is possible that some of these cases are duplicates. Some of these cases have been removed from various Florida state courts to the federal district courts in Florida, while others were filed in federal court. In July 2007, PM USA and other defendants requested that the multi-district litigation panel order the transfer of all such cases pending in the federal courts, as well as any other Engle progeny cases that may be filed, to the Middle District of Florida for pretrial coordination. The panel denied this request in December 2007. In October 2007, attorneys for plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate all pending and future cases filed in the state trial court in Hillsborough County. The court denied this motion in November 2007. In February 2008, the trial court decertified the class except for purposes of the May 2001 bond stipulation, and formally vacated the punitive damages award pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court’s mandate. In April 2008, the trial court ruled that certain defendants, including PM USA, lacked standing with respect to allocation of the funds escrowed under the May 2001 bond stipulation and will receive no credit at this time from the $500 million paid by PM USA against any future punitive damages awards in cases brought by former Engle class members.

In May 2008, the trial court, among other things, decertified the limited class maintained for purposes of the May 2001 bond stipulation and, in July 2008, severed the remaining plaintiffs’ claims except for those of Howard Engle. The only remaining plaintiff in the Engle case, Howard Engle, voluntarily dismissed his claims with prejudice. In July 2008, attorneys for a putative former Engle class member petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to permit members of the Engle class additional time to file individual lawsuits. The Florida Supreme Court denied this petition in January 2009.

Federal Engle Progeny Cases

Three federal district courts (in the Merlob, Brown and Burr cases) ruled that the findings in the first phase of the Engle proceedings cannot be used to satisfy elements of plaintiffs’ claims, and two of those rulings (Brown and Burr) were certified by the trial court for interlocutory review. The certification in both cases was granted by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the appeals were consolidated. In February 2009, the appeal in Burr was dismissed for lack of prosecution. In July 2010, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that plaintiffs do not have an unlimited right to use the findings from the original Engle trial to meet their burden of establishing the elements of their claims at trial. Rather, plaintiffs may only use the findings to establish those specific facts, if any, that they demonstrate with a reasonable degree of certainty were actually decided by the original Engle jury. The Eleventh Circuit remanded the case to the district court to determine what specific factual findings the Engle jury actually made. In the Burr case, PM

 

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USA has filed a motion seeking a ruling from the district court regarding the preclusive effect of the Engle findings pursuant to the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Brown.

Engle progeny cases pending in the federal district courts in the Middle District of Florida asserting individual claims by or on behalf of approximately 3,900 plaintiffs remain stayed. There are currently 12 active cases pending in federal court.

Florida Bond Cap Statute

In June 2009, Florida amended its existing bond cap statute by adding a $200 million bond cap that applies to all Engle progeny lawsuits in the aggregate and establishes individual bond caps for individual Engle progeny cases in amounts that vary depending on the number of judgments in effect at a given time. The legislation, which became effective in June 2009, applies to judgments entered after the effective date and remains in effect until December 31, 2012. Plaintiffs in three Engle progeny cases against R.J. Reynolds in Alachua County, Florida (Alexander, Townsend and Hall) and one case in Escambia County (Clay) have challenged the constitutionality of the bond cap statute. The Florida Attorney General has intervened in these cases in defense of the constitutionality of the statute. Argument in these cases was heard in September 2010. Plaintiffs in one Engle progeny case against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds in Hillsborough County (Douglas) have also challenged the constitutionality of the bond cap statute.

On January 4, 2011, the trial court in the Clay case rejected plaintiffs’ bond cap statute challenge and declared the statute constitutional. Plaintiffs appealed this decision and, on April 12, 2011, the District Court of Appeal for the First District of Florida affirmed the trial court’s decision. On April 25, 2011, trial court rulings were rendered in Alexander, Townsend and Hall rejecting the plaintiffs’ bond cap statute challenges in those cases.

Engle Progeny Trial Results

As of April 26, 2011, twenty-three Engle progeny cases involving PM USA have resulted in verdicts since the Florida Supreme Court Engle decision. Thirteen verdicts (see Hess, Barbanell, F. Campbell, Naugle, Douglas, R. Cohen, Putney, Tate, Piendle, Hatziyannakis, Huish, Tullo and Allen descriptions in the table above) were returned in favor of plaintiffs and ten verdicts were returned in favor of PM USA (Gelep, Kalyvas, Gil de Rubio, Warrick, Willis, Frazier, C. Campbell, Rohr, Espinosa and Oliva). Engle progeny trial results adverse to PM USA are included in the totals provided in Trial Results above. In addition, there have been a number of mistrials, only some of which have resulted in new trials as of April 26, 2011.

In Lukacs, a case that was tried to verdict before the Florida Supreme Court Engle decision, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal in March 2010 affirmed per curiam the trial court decision without issuing an opinion. Under Florida procedure, further review of a per curiam affirmance without opinion by the Florida Supreme Court is generally prohibited. Subsequently in 2010, after defendants’ petition for rehearing with the Court of Appeal was denied, defendants paid the judgment.

In October 2010, juries in five Engle progeny cases (Warrick, Willis, Frazier, C. Campbell and Rohr) returned verdicts in favor of PM USA. The Warrick, Willis and C. Campbell cases have concluded.

In November 2010, the jury in the Espinosa case returned a verdict in favor of PM USA. Plaintiff initially noticed an appeal but on February 9, 2011 voluntarily dismissed his appeal.

On March 28, 2011, the jury in the Oliva case returned a verdict in favor of PM USA. On April 19, 2011, the trial court in the B. Allen case declared a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

 

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Appeals of Engle Progeny Verdicts

Plaintiffs in various Engle progeny cases have appealed adverse rulings or verdicts, and in some cases, PM USA has cross-appealed. PM USA’s appeals of adverse verdicts are discussed in Trial Results above.

In December 2010, in a case against R.J. Reynolds in Escambia County (Martin), the Florida First District Court of Appeals issued the first ruling by a Florida intermediate appellate court to substantively address the Brown decision of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, affirming the final judgment entered in plaintiff’s favor imposing both compensatory and punitive damages. The panel held that the trial court correctly construed the Florida Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Engle in instructing the jury on the preclusive effect of the first phase of the Engle proceedings, expressly disagreeing with certain aspects of the Brown decision. On February 11, 2011, the district court of appeals denied R.J. Reynolds’ request for en banc review and certification of the appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. On March 14, 2011, R.J. Reynolds filed a petition for discretionary review with the Florida Supreme Court.

Scott Class Action

In July 2003, following the first phase of the trial in the Scott class action, in which plaintiffs sought creation of a fund to pay for medical monitoring and smoking cessation programs, a Louisiana jury returned a verdict in favor of defendants, including PM USA, in connection with plaintiffs’ medical monitoring claims, but also found that plaintiffs could benefit from smoking cessation assistance. The jury also found that cigarettes as designed are not defective but that the defendants failed to disclose all they knew about smoking and diseases and marketed their products to minors. In May 2004, in the second phase of the trial, the jury awarded plaintiffs approximately $590 million against all defendants jointly and severally, to fund a 10-year smoking cessation program.

In June 2004, the court entered judgment, which awarded plaintiffs the approximately $590 million jury award plus prejudgment interest accruing from the date the suit commenced. PM USA’s share of the jury award and prejudgment interest has not been allocated. Defendants, including PM USA, appealed. Pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, the trial court entered an order setting the amount of the bond at $50 million for all defendants in accordance with an article of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, and a Louisiana statute (the “bond cap law”), fixing the amount of security in civil cases involving a signatory to the MSA. Under the terms of the stipulation, plaintiffs reserve the right to contest, at a later date, the sufficiency or amount of the bond on any grounds including the applicability or constitutionality of the bond cap law. In September 2004, defendants collectively posted a bond in the amount of $50 million ($12.5 million of which was posted by PM USA).

In February 2007, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal issued a ruling on defendants’ appeal that, among other things: affirmed class certification but limited the scope of the class; struck certain of the categories of damages included in the judgment, reducing the amount of the award by approximately $312 million; vacated the award of prejudgment interest, which totaled approximately $444 million as of February 15, 2007; and ruled that the only class members who are eligible to participate in the smoking cessation program are those who began smoking before, and whose claims accrued by, September 1, 1988. As a result, the Louisiana Court of Appeal remanded the case for proceedings consistent with its opinion, including further reduction of the amount of the award based on the size of the new class. In March 2007, the Louisiana Court of Appeal rejected defendants’ motion for rehearing and clarification. In January 2008, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ and defendants’ petitions for writ of certiorari. In March 2008, plaintiffs filed a motion to execute the approximately $279 million judgment plus post-judgment interest or, in the alternative, for an order to the parties to submit revised damages figures. Defendants filed a motion to have judgment entered in favor of defendants based on accrual of all class member claims after September 1, 1988 or, in the alternative, for the entry of a case management order. In April 2008, the

 

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Louisiana Supreme Court denied defendants’ motion to stay proceedings and the defendants filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. In June 2008, the United States Supreme Court denied the defendants’ petition. Plaintiffs filed a motion to enter judgment in the amount of approximately $280 million (subsequently changed to approximately $264 million) and defendants filed a motion to enter judgment in their favor dismissing the case entirely or, alternatively, to enter a case management order for a new trial. In July 2008, the trial court entered an Amended Judgment and Reasons for Judgment denying both motions, but ordering defendants to deposit into the registry of the court the sum of $263,532,762 plus post-judgment interest.

In September 2008, defendants filed an application for writ of mandamus or supervisory writ to secure the right to appeal with the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, and in December 2008, the trial court entered an order permitting the appeal and approving a $50 million bond for all defendants in accordance with the Louisiana bond cap law discussed above. In April 2009, plaintiffs filed a cross-appeal seeking to reinstate the June 2004 judgment and to award the medical monitoring rejected by the jury.

In April 2010, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal issued a decision that affirmed in part prior decisions ordering the defendants to fund a statewide 10-year smoking cessation program. In its decision, the Court of Appeal amended and, as amended, affirmed the amended 2008 trial court judgment and ruled that, although the trial court erred, the defendants have no right to a trial to determine, among other things, those class members with valid claims not barred by Louisiana law. After conducting its own independent review of the record, the Court of Appeal made its own factual findings with respect to liability and the amount owed, lowering the amount of the judgment to approximately $241 million, plus interest commencing July 21, 2008, the date of entry of the amended judgment (which as of March 31, 2011 is approximately $34 million). In its decision, the Court of Appeal disallowed approximately $80 million in post-judgment interest. In addition, the Court of Appeal declined plaintiffs’ cross appeal requests for a medical monitoring program and reinstatement of other components of the smoking cessation program. The Court of Appeal specifically reserved to the defendants the right to assert claims to any unspent or unused surplus funds at the termination of the smoking cessation program. In June 2010, defendants and plaintiffs filed separate writ of certiorari applications with the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Louisiana Supreme Court denied both sides’ applications. In September 2010, upon defendants’ application, the United States Supreme Court granted a stay of the judgment pending the defendants’ filing and the Court’s disposition of the defendants’ petition for a writ of certiorari. The defendants filed their petition for a writ of certiorari in December 2010, which remains pending. As of March 31, 2011, PM USA has recorded a provision of $26 million in connection with the case and has recorded additional provisions of approximately $3.7 million related to accrued interest.

Smoking and Health Litigation

Overview

Plaintiffs’ allegations of liability in smoking and health cases are based on various theories of recovery, including negligence, gross negligence, strict liability, fraud, misrepresentation, design defect, failure to warn, nuisance, breach of express and implied warranties, breach of special duty, conspiracy, concert of action, violations of deceptive trade practice laws and consumer protection statutes, and claims under the federal and state anti-racketeering statutes. Plaintiffs in the smoking and health actions seek various forms of relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, treble/multiple damages and other statutory damages and penalties, creation of medical monitoring and smoking cessation funds, disgorgement of profits, and injunctive and equitable relief. Defenses raised in these cases include lack of proximate cause, assumption of the risk, comparative fault and/or contributory negligence, statutes of limitations and preemption by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act.

 

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In July 2008, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department in Fabiano, an individual personal injury case, held that plaintiffs’ punitive damages claim was barred by the MSA based on principles of res judicata because the New York Attorney General had already litigated the punitive damages claim on behalf of all New York residents. In May 2010, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, adopted the reasoning of the First Department in Fabiano and issued a per curiam opinion affirming separate trial court rulings dismissing plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims in Shea and Tomasino, two individual personal injury cases.

Smoking and Health Class Actions

Since the dismissal in May 1996 of a purported nationwide class action brought on behalf of allegedly addicted smokers, plaintiffs have filed numerous putative smoking and health class action suits in various state and federal courts. In general, these cases purport to be brought on behalf of residents of a particular state or states (although a few cases purport to be nationwide in scope) and raise addiction claims and, in many cases, claims of physical injury as well.

Class certification has been denied or reversed by courts in 59 smoking and health class actions involving PM USA in Arkansas (1), California (1), the District of Columbia (2), Florida (2), Illinois (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Nevada (29), New Jersey (6), New York (2), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), Puerto Rico (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (1) and Wisconsin (1).

PM USA and Altria Group, Inc. are named as defendants, along with other cigarette manufacturers, in six actions filed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In Saskatchewan and British Columbia, plaintiffs seek class certification on behalf of individuals who suffer or have suffered from various diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, heart disease or cancer after smoking defendants’ cigarettes. In the actions filed in Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, plaintiffs seek certification of classes of all individuals who smoked defendants’ cigarettes. See “Guarantees” for a discussion of the Distribution Agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and PMI that provides for indemnities for certain liabilities concerning tobacco products.

Medical Monitoring Class Actions

A class remains certified in the Scott class action discussed above. Four other purported medical monitoring class actions are pending against PM USA. These cases have been brought in New York (Caronia, filed in January 2006 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York), Massachusetts (Donovan, filed in December 2006 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts), California (Xavier, filed in May 2010 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California), and Florida (Gargano, filed in November 2010 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida) on behalf of each state’s respective residents who: are age 50 or older; have smoked the Marlboro brand for 20 pack-years or more; and have neither been diagnosed with lung cancer nor are under investigation by a physician for suspected lung cancer. Plaintiffs in these cases seek to impose liability under various product-based causes of action and the creation of a court-supervised program providing members of the purported class Low Dose CT Scanning in order to identify and diagnose lung cancer. Plaintiffs in these cases do not seek punitive damages.

In Caronia, in February 2010, the district court granted in part PM USA’s summary judgment motion, dismissing plaintiffs’ strict liability and negligence claims and certain other claims, granted plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint to allege a medical monitoring cause of action and requested further briefing on PM USA’s summary judgment motion as to plaintiffs’ implied warranty claim and, if plaintiffs amend their complaint, their medical monitoring claim. In March 2010, plaintiffs filed their amended complaint and PM

 

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USA moved to dismiss the implied warranty and medical monitoring claims. On January 13, 2011, the district court granted PM USA’s motion, dismissed plaintiffs’ claims and declared plaintiffs’ motion for class certification moot in light of the dismissal of the case. The plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In Donovan, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, in answering questions certified to it by the district court, held in October 2009 that under certain circumstances state law recognizes a claim by individual smokers for medical monitoring despite the absence of an actual injury. The court also ruled that whether or not the case is barred by the applicable statute of limitations is a factual issue to be determined by the trial court. The case was remanded to federal court for further proceedings. In June 2010, the district court granted in part the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying the class as to plaintiffs’ claims for breach of implied warranty and violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, but denying certification as to plaintiffs’ negligence claim. In July 2010, PM USA petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for appellate review of the class certification decision. The petition was denied in September 2010. As a remedy, plaintiffs have proposed a 28-year medical monitoring program with an approximate cost of $190 million. On April 5, 2011, plaintiffs moved to amend their class certification to extend the cut-off date for individuals to satisfy the class membership criteria from December 14, 2006 to August 1, 2011. Trial has been set for August 1, 2011.

In Xavier, in October 2010, the trial court granted PM USA’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ unfair competition claim and independent medical monitoring cause of action. On February 10, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification. On February 24, 2011, PM USA filed various motions, including several motions for summary judgment. On April 18, 2011, the district court denied PM USA’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, granted in part PM USA’s motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The two claims for relief that remain before the court are strict design defect and negligent design and testing. Plaintiffs have indicated that they intend to seek appellate review of the certification order. Although a class has not been certified, trial remains set for November 14, 2011.

In Gargano, PM USA filed a motion to dismiss in December 2010. On January 18, 2011, plaintiff filed an amended complaint with the trial court’s permission. On February 14, 2011, PM USA filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint.

Health Care Cost Recovery Litigation

Overview

In health care cost recovery litigation, governmental entities and non-governmental plaintiffs seek reimbursement of health care cost expenditures allegedly caused by tobacco products and, in some cases, of future expenditures and damages as well. Relief sought by some but not all plaintiffs includes punitive damages, multiple damages and other statutory damages and penalties, injunctions prohibiting alleged marketing and sales to minors, disclosure of research, disgorgement of profits, funding of anti-smoking programs, additional disclosure of nicotine yields, and payment of attorney and expert witness fees.

The claims asserted include the claim that cigarette manufacturers were “unjustly enriched” by plaintiffs’ payment of health care costs allegedly attributable to smoking, as well as claims of indemnity, negligence, strict liability, breach of express and implied warranty, violation of a voluntary undertaking or special duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conspiracy, public nuisance, claims under federal and state statutes governing consumer fraud, antitrust, deceptive trade practices and false advertising, and claims under federal and state anti-racketeering statutes.

 

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Defenses raised include lack of proximate cause, remoteness of injury, failure to state a valid claim, lack of benefit, adequate remedy at law, “unclean hands” (namely, that plaintiffs cannot obtain equitable relief because they participated in, and benefited from, the sale of cigarettes), lack of antitrust standing and injury, federal preemption, lack of statutory authority to bring suit, and statutes of limitations. In addition, defendants argue that they should be entitled to “set off” any alleged damages to the extent the plaintiffs benefit economically from the sale of cigarettes through the receipt of excise taxes or otherwise. Defendants also argue that these cases are improper because plaintiffs must proceed under principles of subrogation and assignment. Under traditional theories of recovery, a payor of medical costs (such as an insurer) can seek recovery of health care costs from a third party solely by “standing in the shoes” of the injured party. Defendants argue that plaintiffs should be required to bring any actions as subrogees of individual health care recipients and should be subject to all defenses available against the injured party.

Although there have been some decisions to the contrary, most judicial decisions have dismissed all or most health care cost recovery claims against cigarette manufacturers. Nine federal circuit courts of appeals and eight state appellate courts, relying primarily on grounds that plaintiffs’ claims were too remote, have ordered or affirmed dismissals of health care cost recovery actions. The United States Supreme Court has refused to consider plaintiffs’ appeals from the cases decided by five circuit courts of appeals.

In March 1999, in the first health care cost recovery case to go to trial, an Ohio jury returned a verdict in favor of defendants on all counts. In addition, a $17.8 million verdict against defendants (including $6.8 million against PM USA) was reversed in a health care cost recovery case in New York, and all claims were dismissed with prejudice in February 2005 (Blue Cross/Blue Shield).

In the health care cost recovery case brought by the City of St. Louis, Missouri and approximately 40 Missouri hospitals, in which PM USA is a defendant (City of St. Louis), the trial court in July 2010, granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment with respect to certain of plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds that they were preempted. The court had earlier denied a number of other summary judgment motions by defendants and denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment claiming collateral estoppel from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described below). The court also had previously granted defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claim for future damages (although in November 2010, the trial court ruled that the damages period for the case would extend through December 31, 2010). In September 2010, the trial court denied several of defendants’ summary judgment motions, but granted defendants’ motion seeking to prevent plaintiffs from recovering the “present value” of their damages, which are alleged to amount to approximately $300 million. In October 2010, the trial court granted defendants summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs’ fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims. Trial on the remaining issues in this case began on January 10, 2011. On April 8, 2011, USSTC and Altria Group, Inc. were dismissed from the case.

Individuals and associations have also sued in purported class actions or as private attorneys general under the Medicare as Secondary Payer (“MSP”) provisions of the Social Security Act to recover from defendants Medicare expenditures allegedly incurred for the treatment of smoking-related diseases. Cases brought in New York (Mason), Florida (Glover) and Massachusetts (United Seniors Association) have been dismissed by federal courts. In April 2008, an action, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, et al. (“National Committee I”), was brought under the MSP statute in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of and for Miami County, Florida, but was dismissed voluntarily in May 2008. The action purported to be brought on behalf of Medicare to recover an unspecified amount of damages equal to double the amount paid by Medicare for smoking-related health care services provided from April 19, 2002 to the present. A companion case brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2008 (National Committee to Preserve Social Security, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, et al.) was dismissed in December 2010, concluding the litigation.

 

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In addition to the cases brought in the United States, health care cost recovery actions have also been brought against tobacco industry participants, including PM USA and Altria Group, Inc., in Israel (1), the Marshall Islands (dismissed), and Canada (4), and other entities have stated that they are considering filing such actions. In the case in Israel, the defendants’ appeal of the district court’s denial of their motion to dismiss was heard by the Israel Supreme Court in March 2005, and the parties are awaiting the court’s decision. In September 2005, in the first of the four health care cost recovery cases filed in Canada, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that legislation passed in British Columbia permitting the lawsuit is constitutional, and, as a result, the case, which had previously been dismissed by the trial court, was permitted to proceed. PM USA’s and other defendants’ challenge to the British Columbia court’s exercise of jurisdiction was rejected by the Court of Appeals of British Columbia and, in April 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada denied review of that decision. In December 2009, the Court of Appeals of British Columbia ruled that certain defendants can proceed against the Federal Government of Canada as third parties on the theory that the Federal Government of Canada negligently misrepresented to defendants the efficacy of a low tar tobacco variety that the Federal Government of Canada developed and licensed to defendants. In May 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the Federal Government of Canada to appeal this decision and leave to defendants to cross-appeal the Court of Appeals’ decision to dismiss claims against the Federal Government of Canada based on other theories of liability. The Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal on February 24, 2011. During 2008, the Province of New Brunswick, Canada, proclaimed into law previously adopted legislation allowing reimbursement claims to be brought against cigarette manufacturers, and it filed suit shortly thereafter. In September 2009, the Province of Ontario, Canada, filed suit against a number of cigarette manufacturers based on previously adopted legislation nearly identical in substance to the New Brunswick health care cost recovery legislation. On February 8, 2011, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador filed a case substantially similar to the ones brought by New Brunswick and Ontario. PM USA is named as a defendant in the British Columbia case, while Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA are named as defendants in the New Brunswick, Ontario and Newfoundland cases. Several other provinces and territories in Canada have enacted similar legislation or are in the process of enacting similar legislation. See “Guarantees” for a discussion of the Distribution Agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and PMI that provides for indemnities for certain liabilities concerning tobacco products.

Settlements of Health Care Cost Recovery Litigation

In November 1998, PM USA and certain other United States tobacco product manufacturers entered into the MSA with 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas to settle asserted and unasserted health care cost recovery and other claims. PM USA and certain other United States tobacco product manufacturers had previously settled similar claims brought by Mississippi, Florida, Texas and Minnesota (together with the MSA, the “State Settlement Agreements”). The State Settlement Agreements require that the original participating manufacturers make substantial annual payments of approximately $9.4 billion each year, subject to adjustments for several factors, including inflation, market share and industry volume. In addition, the original participating manufacturers are required to pay settling plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, subject to an annual cap of $500 million. For the three months ended March 31, 2011 and March 31, 2010, the aggregate amount recorded in cost of sales with respect to the State Settlement Agreements and the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (“FETRA”) was approximately $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.

The State Settlement Agreements also include provisions relating to advertising and marketing restrictions, public disclosure of certain industry documents, limitations on challenges to certain tobacco control and underage use laws, restrictions on lobbying activities and other provisions.

 

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Possible Adjustments in MSA Payments for 2003 to 2010

Pursuant to the provisions of the MSA, domestic tobacco product manufacturers, including PM USA, who are original signatories to the MSA (the “Original Participating Manufacturers” or “OPMs”) are participating in proceedings that may result in downward adjustments to the amounts paid by the OPMs and the other MSA-participating manufacturers to the states and territories that are parties to the MSA for each of the years 2003 to 2009. The proceedings relate to an MSA payment adjustment (the “NPM Adjustment”) based on the collective loss of market share for the relevant year by all participating manufacturers who are subject to the payment obligations and marketing restrictions of the MSA to non-participating manufacturers (“NPMs”) who are not subject to such obligations and restrictions.

As part of these proceedings, an independent economic consulting firm jointly selected by the MSA parties or otherwise selected pursuant to the MSA’s provisions is required to determine whether the disadvantages of the MSA were a “significant factor” contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year in question. If the firm determines that the disadvantages of the MSA were such a “significant factor,” each state may avoid a downward adjustment to its share of the participating manufacturers’ annual payments for that year by establishing that it diligently enforced a qualifying escrow statute during the entirety of that year. Any potential downward adjustment would then be reallocated to any states that do not establish such diligent enforcement. PM USA believes that the MSA’s arbitration clause requires a state to submit its claim to have diligently enforced a qualifying escrow statute to binding arbitration before a panel of three former federal judges in the manner provided for in the MSA. A number of states have taken the position that this claim should be decided in state court on a state-by-state basis.

In March 2006, an independent economic consulting firm determined that the disadvantages of the MSA were a significant factor contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year 2003. In February 2007, this same firm determined that the disadvantages of the MSA were a significant factor contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year 2004. In February 2008, the same economic consulting firm determined that the disadvantages of the MSA were a significant factor contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year 2005. A different economic consulting firm was selected to make the “significant factor” determination regarding the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year 2006. In March 2009, this firm determined that the disadvantages of the MSA were a significant factor contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the year 2006. Following the firm’s determination for 2006, the OPMs and the states agreed that the states would not contest that the disadvantages of the MSA were a significant factor contributing to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Accordingly, the OPMs and the states have agreed that no “significant factor” determination by the firm will be necessary with respect to the participating manufacturers’ collective loss of market share for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. This agreement became effective for 2007 and 2008 on February 1, 2010 and February 1, 2011, respectively, and will become effective for 2009 on February 1, 2012. The MSA’s Independent Auditor has determined that the participating manufacturers collectively lost market share for 2010. A proceeding before an economic consulting firm with respect to a “significant factor” determination for 2010 losses of market share cannot be commenced until April 2012.

Following the economic consulting firm’s determination with respect to 2003, thirty-eight states filed declaratory judgment actions in state courts seeking a declaration that the state diligently enforced its escrow statute during 2003. The OPMs and other MSA-participating manufacturers responded to these actions by filing motions to compel arbitration in accordance with the terms of the MSA, including filing motions to compel arbitration in eleven MSA states and territories that did not file declaratory judgment actions. Courts in all but one of the forty-six MSA states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have ruled that the question of whether a state diligently enforced its escrow statute during 2003 is subject to

 

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arbitration. One state court (in State of Montana) has ruled that the diligent enforcement claims of that state may be litigated in state court, rather than in arbitration. Several of these rulings may be subject to further review. In January 2010, the OPMs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court seeking further review of the one decision holding that a state’s diligent enforcement claims may be litigated in state court, rather than in arbitration. The petition was denied in June 2010. Following the denial of this petition, Montana renewed an action in its state court seeking a declaratory judgment that it diligently enforced its escrow statute during 2003 and other relief. The OPMs moved to stay that action and on January 28, 2011 the state court granted the OPMs’ motion. Montana has filed a petition in the Montana Supreme Court requesting that the stay be lifted.

PM USA, the other OPMs and approximately twenty-five other MSA-participating manufacturers have entered into an agreement regarding arbitration with forty-five MSA states concerning the 2003 NPM Adjustment, including the states’ claims of diligent enforcement for 2003. The agreement further provides for a partial liability reduction for the 2003 NPM Adjustment for states that entered into the agreement by January 30, 2009 and are determined in the arbitration not to have diligently enforced a qualifying escrow statute during 2003. Based on the number of states that entered into the agreement by January 30, 2009 (forty-five), the partial liability reduction for those states is 20%. The partial liability reduction would reduce the amount of PM USA’s 2003 NPM Adjustment by up to a corresponding percentage. The selection of the arbitration panel for the 2003 NPM Adjustment was completed in July 2010, and the arbitration is currently ongoing. Proceedings to determine state diligent enforcement claims for the years 2004 through 2009 have not yet been scheduled.

Once a significant factor determination in favor of the participating manufacturers for a particular year has been made by the economic consulting firm, or the states’ agreement not to contest significant factor for a particular year has become effective, PM USA has the right under the MSA to pay the disputed amount of the NPM Adjustment for that year into a disputed payments account or withhold it altogether. PM USA has made its full MSA payment due in each year from 2006 – 2010 to the states (subject to a right to recoup the NPM Adjustment amount in the form of a credit against future MSA payments), even though it had the right to deduct the disputed amounts of the 2003 – 2007 NPM Adjustments, as described above, from such MSA payments. PM USA paid its share of the amount of the disputed 2008 NPM Adjustment shown below into the MSA’s disputed payments account in connection with its MSA payment due in 2011. The approximate maximum principal amounts of PM USA’s share of the disputed NPM Adjustment for the years 2003 through 2009, as currently calculated by the MSA’s Independent Auditor, are as follows (the 2003 – 2008 amounts shown below, which have been paid to the states or into the disputed payments account, do not include the interest or earnings thereon to which PM USA believes it would be entitled in the manner provided in the MSA):

 

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Year for which NPM Adjustment calculated

       2003          2004          2005          2006          2007          2008          2009  

Year in which deduction for NPM Adjustment may be taken

       2006           2007           2008           2009           2010           2011           2012   

PM USA’s Approximate Share of Disputed NPM Adjustment (in millions)

     $ 337         $ 388         $ 181         $ 154         $ 207         $ 267         $ 211   
                                                                            

As indicated above, the MSA’s Independent Auditor has determined that the participating manufacturers have collectively lost market share for 2010, but a significant factor proceeding for a 2010 NPM Adjustment cannot be commenced until April 2012. Based on the Independent Auditor’s current calculations, the approximate maximum principal amount of PM USA’s share of any NPM Adjustment for 2010 would be $209 million.

The foregoing amounts may be recalculated by the Independent Auditor if it receives information that is different from or in addition to the information on which it based these calculations, including, among other things, if it receives revised sales volumes from any participating manufacturer. Disputes among the manufacturers could also reduce the foregoing amounts. The availability and the precise amount of any NPM Adjustment for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 will not be finally determined until 2012 or thereafter. There is no certainty that the OPMs and other MSA-participating manufacturers will ultimately receive any adjustment as a result of these proceedings, and the amount of any adjustment received for a year could be less than the amount for that year listed above. If the OPMs do receive such an adjustment through these proceedings, the adjustment would be allocated among the OPMs pursuant to the MSA’s provisions. It is expected that PM USA would receive its share of any adjustments for 2003 - 2007 in the form of a credit against future MSA payments and its share of any adjustment for 2008 in the form of a withdrawal from the disputed payments account.

Other MSA-Related Litigation

PM USA was named as a defendant in an action (Vibo) brought in October 2008 in federal court in Kentucky by an MSA participating manufacturer that is not an OPM. Other defendants include various other participating manufacturers and the Attorneys General of all 52 states and territories that are parties to the MSA. The plaintiff alleged that certain of the MSA’s payment provisions discriminate against it in favor of certain other participating manufacturers in violation of the federal antitrust laws and the United States Constitution. The plaintiff also sought injunctive relief, alteration of certain MSA payment provisions as applied to it, treble damages under the federal antitrust laws, and/or rescission of its joinder in the MSA. The plaintiff also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining the states from enforcing the allegedly discriminatory payment provisions against it during the pendency of the action. In January 2009, the district court dismissed the complaint and denied plaintiff’s request for preliminary injunctive relief. In January 2010, the court entered final judgment dismissing the case. Plaintiff has appealed this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

 

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Without naming PM USA or any other private party as a defendant, NPMs and/or their distributors or customers have filed several legal challenges to the MSA and related legislation. New York state officials are defendants in a lawsuit (Freedom Holdings) filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in which cigarette importers allege that the MSA and/or related legislation violates federal antitrust laws and the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. In a separate proceeding pending in the same court (Pryor), plaintiffs assert the same theories against not only New York officials but also the Attorneys General for thirty other states. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that the allegations in both actions, if proven, establish a basis for relief on antitrust and Commerce Clause grounds and that the trial courts in New York have personal jurisdiction sufficient to enjoin other states’ officials from enforcing their MSA-related legislation. On remand in Freedom Holdings, the trial court granted summary judgment for the New York officials and lifted a preliminary injunction against New York officials’ enforcement against plaintiffs of the state’s “allocable share” amendment to the MSA’s Model Escrow Statute. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that decision in October 2010. Plaintiffs’ petition before the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari was denied on March 28, 2011. On remand in Pryor, the trial court held that plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits and refused to enjoin the enforcement of New York’s allocable share amendment to the MSA’s Model Escrow Statute. That decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The parties in that case have filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and the trial court heard oral argument on those motions in April 2010. On March 17, 2011, the Pryor trial court granted summary judgment on all claims for the New York state officials.

In another action (Xcaliber), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of challenges to MSA-related legislation in Louisiana under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. On remand in that case, and in another case filed against the Louisiana Attorney General (S&M Brands), trial courts have granted summary judgment for the Louisiana Attorney General. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed those judgments in decisions issued in July 2010 and August 2010. Plaintiffs in the S&M Brands case filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court in November 2010, which petition was denied on March 7, 2011.

In addition to the Second and Fifth Circuit decisions above, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits have affirmed dismissals or grants of summary judgment in favor of state officials in four other cases asserting antitrust and constitutional challenges to the allocable share amendment legislation in those states.

Another proceeding (Grand River) has been initiated before an international arbitration tribunal under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. A hearing on the merits concluded in February 2010. On January 12, 2011, the arbitration tribunal rejected the claims against the United States challenging MSA-related legislation in various states.

Federal Government’s Lawsuit

In 1999, the United States government filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against various cigarette manufacturers, including PM USA, and others, including Altria Group, Inc. asserting claims under three federal statutes, namely the Medical Care Recovery Act (“MCRA”), the MSP provisions of the Social Security Act and the civil provisions of RICO. Trial of the case ended in June 2005. The lawsuit sought to recover an unspecified amount of health care costs for tobacco-related illnesses allegedly caused by defendants’ fraudulent and tortious conduct and paid for by the government under various federal health care programs, including Medicare, military and veterans’ health benefits programs, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The complaint alleged that such costs total more than $20 billion annually. It also sought what it alleged to be equitable and declaratory relief, including

 

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disgorgement of profits which arose from defendants’ allegedly tortious conduct, an injunction prohibiting certain actions by the defendants, and a declaration that the defendants are liable for the federal government’s future costs of providing health care resulting from defendants’ alleged past tortious and wrongful conduct. In September 2000, the trial court dismissed the government’s MCRA and MSP claims, but permitted discovery to proceed on the government’s claims for relief under the civil provisions of RICO.

The government alleged that disgorgement by defendants of approximately $280 billion is an appropriate remedy. In May 2004, the trial court issued an order denying defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment limiting the disgorgement remedy. In February 2005, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that disgorgement is not a remedy available to the government under the civil provisions of RICO and entered summary judgment in favor of defendants with respect to the disgorgement claim. In April 2005, the Court of Appeals denied the government’s motion for rehearing. In July 2005, the government petitioned the United States Supreme Court for further review of the Court of Appeals’ ruling that disgorgement is not an available remedy, and in October 2005, the Supreme Court denied the petition.

In June 2005, the government filed with the trial court its proposed final judgment seeking remedies of approximately $14 billion, including $10 billion over a five-year period to fund a national smoking cessation program and $4 billion over a ten-year period to fund a public education and counter-marketing campaign. Further, the government’s proposed remedy would have required defendants to pay additional monies to these programs if targeted reductions in the smoking rate of those under 21 are not achieved according to a prescribed timetable. The government’s proposed remedies also included a series of measures and restrictions applicable to cigarette business operations—including, but not limited to, restrictions on advertising and marketing, potential measures with respect to certain price promotional activities and research and development, disclosure requirements for certain confidential data and implementation of a monitoring system with potential broad powers over cigarette operations.

In August 2006, the federal trial court entered judgment in favor of the government. The court held that certain defendants, including Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA, violated RICO and engaged in 7 of the 8 “sub-schemes” to defraud that the government had alleged. Specifically, the court found that:

 

   

defendants falsely denied, distorted and minimized the significant adverse health consequences of smoking;

 

   

defendants hid from the public that cigarette smoking and nicotine are addictive;

 

   

defendants falsely denied that they control the level of nicotine delivered to create and sustain addiction;

 

   

defendants falsely marketed and promoted “low tar/light” cigarettes as less harmful than full-flavor cigarettes;

 

   

defendants falsely denied that they intentionally marketed to youth;

 

   

defendants publicly and falsely denied that ETS is hazardous to non-smokers; and

 

   

defendants suppressed scientific research.

The court did not impose monetary penalties on the defendants, but ordered the following relief: (i) an injunction against “committing any act of racketeering” relating to the manufacturing, marketing, promotion, health consequences or sale of cigarettes in the United States; (ii) an injunction against

 

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participating directly or indirectly in the management or control of the Council for Tobacco Research, the Tobacco Institute, or the Center for Indoor Air Research, or any successor or affiliated entities of each; (iii) an injunction against “making, or causing to be made in any way, any material false, misleading, or deceptive statement or representation or engaging in any public relations or marketing endeavor that is disseminated to the United States public and that misrepresents or suppresses information concerning cigarettes”; (iv) an injunction against conveying any express or implied health message through use of descriptors on cigarette packaging or in cigarette advertising or promotional material, including “lights,” “ultra lights” and “low tar,” which the court found could cause consumers to believe one cigarette brand is less hazardous than another brand; (v) the issuance of “corrective statements” in various media regarding the adverse health effects of smoking, the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine, the lack of any significant health benefit from smoking “low tar” or “light” cigarettes, defendants’ manipulation of cigarette design to ensure optimum nicotine delivery and the adverse health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; (vi) the disclosure on defendants’ public document websites and in the Minnesota document repository of all documents produced to the government in the lawsuit or produced in any future court or administrative action concerning smoking and health until 2021, with certain additional requirements as to documents withheld from production under a claim of privilege or confidentiality; (vii) the disclosure of disaggregated marketing data to the government in the same form and on the same schedule as defendants now follow in disclosing such data to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for a period of ten years; (viii) certain restrictions on the sale or transfer by defendants of any cigarette brands, brand names, formulas or cigarette businesses within the United States; and (ix) payment of the government’s costs in bringing the action.

In September 2006, defendants filed notices of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and in October 2006, a three judge panel of the Court of Appeals stayed the trial court’s judgment pending its review of the decision. Certain defendants, including PM USA and Altria Group, Inc., filed a motion to clarify the trial court’s August 2006 Final Judgment and Remedial Order. In March 2007, the trial court denied in part and granted in part defendants’ post-trial motion for clarification of portions of the court’s remedial order.

In May 2009, a three judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a per curiam decision largely affirming the trial court’s judgment against defendants and in favor of the government. Although the panel largely affirmed the remedial order that was issued by the trial court, it vacated the following aspects of the order:

 

   

its application to defendants’ subsidiaries;

 

   

the prohibition on the use of express or implied health messages or health descriptors, but only to the extent of extraterritorial application;

 

   

its point-of-sale display provisions; and

 

   

its application to Brown & Williamson Holdings.

The Court of Appeals panel remanded the case for the trial court to reconsider these four aspects of the injunction and to reformulate its remedial order accordingly.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeals panel rejected all of the government’s and intervenors’ cross appeal arguments and refused to broaden the remedial order entered by the trial court. The Court of Appeals panel also left undisturbed its prior holding that the government cannot obtain disgorgement as a permissible remedy under RICO.

 

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In July 2009, defendants filed petitions for a rehearing before the panel and for a rehearing by the entire Court of Appeals. Defendants also filed a motion to vacate portions of the trial court’s judgment on the grounds of mootness because of the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“FSPTCA”), granting the United States Food and Drug Administration broad authority over the regulation of tobacco products. In September 2009, the Court of Appeals entered three per curiam rulings. Two of them denied defendants’ petitions for panel rehearing or for rehearing en banc. In the third per curiam decision, the Court of Appeals denied defendants’ suggestion of mootness and motion for partial vacatur. The Court of Appeals subsequently granted motions staying the issuance of its mandate pending the filing and disposition of petitions for writs of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. In February 2010, PM USA and Altria Group, Inc. filed their certiorari petitions with the United States Supreme Court. In addition, the federal government and the intervenors filed their own certiorari petitions, asking the court to reverse an earlier Court of Appeals decision and hold that civil RICO allows the trial court to order disgorgement as well as other equitable relief, such as smoking cessation remedies, designed to redress continuing consequences of prior RICO violations. In June 2010, the United States Supreme Court denied all of the parties’ petitions. In July 2010, the Court of Appeals issued its mandate lifting the stay of the trial court’s judgment and remanding the case to the trial court.

As a result of the mandate, except for those matters remanded to the trial court for further proceedings, defendants are now subject to the injunction discussed above and the other elements of the trial court’s judgment. In September 2010, the trial court held a status conference to hear the parties’ preliminary views regarding the remaining issues to be addressed on remand. These issues include the placement and content of corrective communications, the exclusivity of the court’s jurisdiction to enforce the injunction, document coding and the maintenance of a document depository. In December 2010, the trial court issued an order that, among other things: (1) ordered the government to submit its proposed corrective statements by February 3, 2011; (2) ordered the parties to file a joint status report by February 3, 2011 regarding the degree to which they have reached agreement on a number of issues; and (3) confirmed that the Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute are dismissed from the case.

The defendants filed their joint status report on February 3, 2011. On February 4, 2011, the government submitted its proposed corrective statements. On February 24, 2011, the trial court held a status conference and subsequently, among other things, (1) ordered the defendants to file a response to the Government’s proposed corrective statements by March 3, 2011, (2) required defendants to file any motion to vacate the trial court’s injunction in light of the FSPTCA by March 3, 2011, (3) ordered the parties to file simultaneous briefs regarding their respective positions on point-of-sale display communications by April 1, 2011, (4) ordered defendants to file motion on who may enforce the court’s injunction, and where, by April 24, 2011, and (5) referred additional issues relating to a document repository to a special master. The parties have complied with these deadlines and responsive briefing is underway.

 

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“Lights/Ultra Lights” Cases

Overview

Plaintiffs in certain pending matters seek certification of their cases as class actions and allege, among other things, that the uses of the terms “Lights” and/or “Ultra Lights” constitute deceptive and unfair trade practices, common law fraud, or RICO violations, and seek injunctive and equitable relief, including restitution and, in certain cases, punitive damages. These class actions have been brought against PM USA and, in certain instances, Altria Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries, on behalf of individuals who purchased and consumed various brands of cigarettes, including Marlboro Lights, Marlboro Ultra Lights, Virginia Slims Lights and Superslims, Merit Lights and Cambridge Lights. Defenses raised in these cases include lack of misrepresentation, lack of causation, injury, and damages, the statute of limitations, express preemption by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (“FCLAA”) and implied preemption by the policies and directives of the FTC, non-liability under state statutory provisions exempting conduct that complies with federal regulatory directives, and the First Amendment. As of April 25, 2011, a total of thirty such cases were pending in the United States. Sixteen of these cases were pending in a multidistrict litigation proceeding in a single U.S. federal court as discussed below. The other cases were pending in various U.S. state courts. In addition, a purported “Lights” class action is pending against PM USA in Israel. Other entities have stated that they are considering filing such actions against Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA.

In the one “Lights” case pending in Israel, hearings on plaintiffs’ motion for class certification were held in November and December 2008. An additional hearing on class certification is scheduled for November 2011. See “Guarantees” for a discussion of the Distribution Agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and PMI that provides for indemnities for certain liabilities concerning tobacco products.

The Good Case

In May 2006, a federal trial court in Maine granted PM USA’s motion for summary judgment in Good, a purported “Lights” class action, on the grounds that plaintiffs’ claims are preempted by the FCLAA and dismissed the case. In August 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated the district court’s grant of PM USA’s motion for summary judgment on federal preemption grounds and remanded the case to district court. The district court stayed the case pending the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on defendants’ petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which was granted in January 2008. The case was stayed pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision. In December 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs’ claims are not barred by federal preemption. Although the Court rejected the argument that the FTC’s actions were so extensive with respect to the descriptors that the state law claims were barred as a matter of federal law, the Court’s decision was limited: it did not address the ultimate merits of plaintiffs’ claim, the viability of the action as a class action, or other state law issues. The case has been returned to the federal court in Maine for further proceedings and has been consolidated with other federal cases in the multidistrict litigation proceeding discussed below.

Certain Developments Since December 2008 Good Decision

Since the December 2008 United States Supreme Court decision in Good, and through April 25, 2011, twenty-four purported “Lights” class actions were served upon PM USA and Altria Group, Inc. These cases were filed in 14 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. All of these cases either were filed in federal court or were removed to federal court by PM USA.

A number of purported “Lights” class actions have been transferred and consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPMDL”) before the United States District Court for the District of Maine for pretrial proceedings (“MDL proceeding”). As of April 25, 2011, sixteen cases against Altria Group, Inc.

 

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and/or PM USA were pending in or awaiting transfer to the MDL proceeding. These cases, and the states in which each originated, are: Biundo (Illinois), Calistro (U.S. Virgin Islands), Corse (Tennessee), Domaingue (New York), Good (Maine), Haubrich (Pennsylvania), McClure (Tennessee), Mirick (Mississippi), Mulford (New Mexico), Parsons (District of Columbia), Phillips (Ohio), Slater (District of Columbia), Tang (New York), Tyrer (California), Williams (Arkansas) and Wyatt (Wisconsin). In November 2010, the district court in the MDL proceeding remanded the Watson case to Arkansas state court.

In November 2009, plaintiffs in the MDL proceeding filed a motion seeking collateral estoppel effect from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described above), which motion was denied in March 2010. In May 2010, July 2010 and September 2010, the district court denied all of PM USA’s summary judgment motions. In November 2010, the district court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in four cases, covering the jurisdictions of California, the District of Columbia, Illinois and Maine. These jurisdictions were selected by the parties as sample cases, with two selected by plaintiffs and two selected by defendants. Plaintiffs sought appellate review of this decision but, on February 22, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied plaintiffs’ petition for leave to appeal. On April 15, 2011, the district court issued an order requiring that plaintiffs advise by May 16, 2011 whether they will dismiss their cases and, if not, whether they object to the class certification order being applied to all cases in the MDL proceeding not dismissed.

“Lights” Cases Dismissed, Not Certified or Ordered De-Certified

To date, in addition to the district court in the MDL proceeding, 15 courts in 16 “Lights” cases have refused to certify class actions, dismissed class action allegations, reversed prior class certification decisions or have entered judgment in favor of PM USA.

Trial courts in Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington have refused to grant class certification or have dismissed plaintiffs’ class action allegations. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed a case in Michigan after a trial court dismissed the claims plaintiffs asserted under the Michigan Unfair Trade and Consumer Protection Act.

Several appellate courts have issued rulings that either affirmed rulings in favor of Altria Group, Inc. and/or PM USA or reversed rulings entered in favor of plaintiffs. In Florida, an intermediate appellate court overturned an order by a trial court that granted class certification in Hines. The Florida Supreme Court denied review in January 2008. The Supreme Court of Illinois has overturned a judgment that awarded damages to a certified class in the Price case. See The Price Case below for further discussion. In Louisiana, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed a purported “Lights” class action brought in Louisiana federal court (Sullivan) on the grounds that plaintiffs’ claims were preempted by the FCLAA. In New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a decision by a New York trial court in Schwab that denied defendants’ summary judgment motions and granted plaintiffs’ motion for certification of a nationwide class of all United States residents that purchased cigarettes in the United States that were labeled “Light” or “Lights.” In July 2010, plaintiffs in Schwab voluntarily dismissed the case with prejudice. In Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court overturned class certifications in the Marrone and Phillips cases. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed both cases in August 2009. The Supreme Court of Washington denied a motion for interlocutory review filed by the plaintiffs in the Davies case that sought review of an order by the trial court that refused to certify a class. Plaintiffs subsequently voluntarily dismissed the Davies case with prejudice. Plaintiffs in the New Mexico case (Mulford) renewed their motion for class certification, which motion was denied by the federal district court in March 2009, with leave to file a new motion for class certification.

In Oregon (Pearson), a state court denied plaintiff’s motion for interlocutory review of the trial court’s refusal to certify a class. In February 2007, PM USA filed a motion for summary judgment based on federal

 

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preemption and the Oregon statutory exemption. In September 2007, the district court granted PM USA’s motion based on express preemption under the FCLAA, and plaintiffs appealed this dismissal and the class certification denial to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Argument was held in April 2010.

In Cleary, which was pending in an Illinois federal court, the district court dismissed plaintiffs’ “Lights” claims against one defendant and denied plaintiffs’ request to remand the case to state court. In September 2009, the court issued its ruling on PM USA’s and the remaining defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to all “Lights” claims. The court granted the motion as to all defendants except PM USA. As to PM USA, the court granted the motion as to all “Lights” and other low tar brands other than Marlboro Lights. As to Marlboro Lights, the court ordered briefing on why the 2002 state court order dismissing the Marlboro Lights claims should not be vacated based upon Good. In January 2010, the court vacated the previous dismissal. In February 2010, the court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants as to all claims except for the Marlboro Lights claims, based on the statute of limitations and deficiencies relating to the named plaintiffs. In June 2010, the court granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants on all remaining claims, dismissing the case. In July 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration with the district court, which was denied. In August 2010, plaintiffs filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Argument on the appeal was heard on April 7, 2011.

Other Developments

In December 2009, the state trial court in the Carroll (formerly known as Holmes) case (pending in Delaware), denied PM USA’s motion for summary judgment based on an exemption provision in the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act. On January 11, 2011, the trial court allowed the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint substituting class representatives and naming Altria Group Inc. and PMI as additional defendants.

In June 2007, the United States Supreme Court reversed the lower court rulings in the Watson case that denied plaintiffs’ motion to have the case heard in a state, as opposed to federal, trial court. The Supreme Court rejected defendant’s contention that the case must be tried in federal court under the “federal officer” statute. The case was removed to federal court in Arkansas and the case was transferred to the MDL proceeding discussed above. In October 2010, the JPMDL denied plaintiffs’ motion to remand the case to state court and to vacate the transfer order. As discussed above, in November 2010, the district court in the MDL proceeding remanded the Watson case to Arkansas state court.

The Price Case

Trial in the Price case commenced in state court in Illinois in January 2003, and in March 2003, the judge found in favor of the plaintiff class and awarded $7.1 billion in compensatory damages and $3 billion in punitive damages against PM USA. In connection with the judgment, PM USA deposited into escrow various forms of collateral, including cash and negotiable instruments. In December 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its judgment, reversing the trial court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and directing the trial court to dismiss the case. In May 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for re-hearing; in November 2006, the United States Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ petition for writ of certiorari and, in December 2006, the Circuit Court of Madison County enforced the Illinois Supreme Court’s mandate and dismissed the case with prejudice. In January 2007, plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate or withhold judgment based upon the United States Supreme Court’s grant of the petition for writ of certiorari in Watson (described above). In May 2007, PM USA filed applications for a writ of mandamus or a supervisory order with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking an order compelling the lower courts to deny plaintiffs’ motion to vacate and/or withhold judgment. In August 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court granted PM USA’s motion for supervisory order and the trial court dismissed plaintiffs’ motion to vacate or

 

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withhold judgment. The collateral that PM USA deposited into escrow after the initial 2003 judgment was released and returned to PM USA.

In December 2008, plaintiffs filed with the trial court a petition for relief from the final judgment that was entered in favor of PM USA. Specifically, plaintiffs sought to vacate the 2005 Illinois Supreme Court judgment, contending that the United States Supreme Court’s December 2008 decision in Good demonstrated that the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision was “inaccurate.” PM USA filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ petition and, in February 2009, the trial court granted PM USA’s motion. In March 2009, the Price plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal with the Fifth Judicial District of the Appellate Court of Illinois. On February 24, 2011, the intermediate appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ petition. PM USA intends to petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In June 2009, the plaintiff in an individual smoker lawsuit (Kelly) brought on behalf of an alleged smoker of “Lights” cigarettes in Madison County, Illinois state court filed a motion seeking a declaration that (1) his claims under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act are not barred by the exemption in that statute based on his assertion that the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Price is no longer good law in light of the decisions by the United States Supreme Court in Good and Watson, and (2) their claims are not preempted in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Good. In September 2009, the court granted plaintiff’s motion as to federal preemption, but denied it with respect to the state statutory exemption.

State Trial Court Class Certifications

State trial courts have certified classes against PM USA in Massachusetts (Aspinall), Minnesota (Curtis), Missouri (Larsen) and New Hampshire (Lawrence). Significant developments in these cases include:

 

   

Aspinall: In August 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the class certification order. In August 2006, the trial court denied PM USA’s motion for summary judgment and granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on the defenses of federal preemption and a state law exemption to Massachusetts’ consumer protection statute. On motion of the parties, the trial court subsequently reported its decision to deny summary judgment to the appeals court for review and stayed further proceedings pending completion of the appellate review. In December 2008, subsequent to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Good, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an order requesting that the parties advise the court within 30 days whether the Good decision is dispositive of federal preemption issues pending on appeal. In January 2009, PM USA notified the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that Good is dispositive of the federal preemption issues on appeal, but requested further briefing on the state law statutory exemption issue. In March 2009, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order denying summary judgment to PM USA and granting the plaintiffs’ cross-motion. In January 2010, plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment as to liability claiming collateral estoppel from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described above).

 

   

Curtis: In April 2005, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied PM USA’s petition for interlocutory review of the trial court’s class certification order. In October 2009, the trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, filed in February 2009, claiming collateral estoppel from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described above). In October 2009, the trial court granted PM USA’s motion for partial summary judgment, filed in August 2009, as to all consumer protection counts and, in December 2009, dismissed the case in its entirety. In December 2010, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the case and affirmed the trial court’s prior certification of the class under Minnesota’s consumer protection statutes. The Court of Appeals also reversed the trial court’s denial of Altria Group, Inc.’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, thereby removing

 

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Altria Group, Inc. from the case, and affirmed the trial court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment claiming collateral estoppel from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice. PM USA’s petition for review with the Minnesota Supreme Court was granted on March 15, 2011.

 

   

Larsen: In August 2005, a Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the class certification order. In December 2009, the trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration of the period during which potential class members can qualify to become part of the class. The class period remains 1995 – 2003. In June 2010, PM USA’s motion for partial summary judgment regarding plaintiffs’ request for punitive damages was denied. In April 2010, plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment as to an element of liability in the case, claiming collateral estoppel from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described above). The plaintiffs’ motion was denied in December 2010. In July 2010, the parties stipulated to the dismissal of Altria Group, Inc. as a defendant in the case. PM USA remains a defendant. The case is currently set for trial in September 2011.

 

   

Lawrence: In November 2010, the trial court certified a class consisting of all persons who purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in the state of New Hampshire at any time from the date the brand was introduced into commerce until the date trial in the case begins. PM USA’s motion for reconsideration of this decision was denied on January 12, 2011. PM USA is seeking further review before the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Certain Other Tobacco-Related Litigation

Tobacco Price Case: As of April 25, 2011, one case remains pending in Kansas (Smith) in which plaintiffs allege that defendants, including PM USA and Altria Group, Inc., conspired to fix cigarette prices in violation of antitrust laws. Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification has been granted. No trial date has been set.

Case Under the California Business and Professions Code: In June 1997, a lawsuit (Brown) was filed in California state court alleging that domestic cigarette manufacturers, including PM USA and others, have violated California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 and 17500 regarding unfair, unlawful and fraudulent business practices. Class certification was granted as to plaintiffs’ claims that class members are entitled to reimbursement of the costs of cigarettes purchased during the class periods and injunctive relief. In September 2004, the trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to plaintiffs’ claims attacking defendants’ cigarette advertising and promotion and denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claims based on allegedly false affirmative statements. Plaintiffs’ motion for rehearing was denied. In March 2005, the court granted defendants’ motion to decertify the class based on a California law, which inter alia limits the ability to bring a lawsuit to only those plaintiffs who have “suffered injury in fact” and “lost money or property” as a result of defendants’ alleged statutory violations (“Proposition 64”). In two July 2006 opinions, the California Supreme Court held Proposition 64 applicable to pending cases. Plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration of the order that decertified the class was denied, and plaintiffs appealed.

In September 2006, an intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order decertifying the class. In May 2009, the California Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision that was affirmed by the appellate court and remanded the case to the trial court. Defendants filed a rehearing petition in June 2009. In August 2009, the California Supreme Court denied defendants’ rehearing petition and issued its mandate. In March 2010, the trial court granted reconsideration of its September 2004 order granting partial summary judgment to defendants with respect to plaintiffs’ “Lights” claims on the basis of judicial decisions issued since its order was issued, including the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Good, thereby reinstating plaintiffs’

 

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“Lights” claims. Since the trial court’s prior ruling decertifying the class was reversed on appeal by the California Supreme Court, the parties and the court are treating all claims currently being asserted by the plaintiffs as certified, subject, however, to defendants’ challenge to the class representatives’ standing to assert their claims. The class is defined as people who, at the time they were residents of California, smoked in California one or more cigarettes between June 10, 1993 and April 23, 2001, and who were exposed to defendants’ marketing and advertising activities in California. In July 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion seeking collateral estoppel effect from the findings in the case brought by the Department of Justice (see Federal Government’s Lawsuit described above). In September 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary resolution of legal issues regarding restitutionary relief. The trial court denied both of plaintiffs’ motions in November 2010. In November 2010, defendants filed a motion seeking a determination that Brown class members who were also part of the class in Daniels (a previously disclosed consumer fraud case in which the California Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment in PM USA’s favor based on preemption and First Amendment grounds) are precluded by the Daniels judgment from recovering in Brown. This motion was denied in December 2010. Defendants sought review of this decision before the Fourth District Court of Appeal but were denied review on March 11, 2011. In December 2010, defendants filed a motion for a determination that the class representatives lack standing and are not typical or adequate to represent the class. On February 24, 2011, the trial court ruled on this motion in the defendants’ favor and vacated the previously scheduled trial date. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied on April 13, 2011. In addition, on April 13, 2011, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the action on the grounds that plaintiffs should not be permitted to amend the complaint. Argument on that motion is scheduled for June 21, 2011.

Ignition Propensity Cases: PM USA is currently a defendant in two wrongful death actions in which plaintiffs contend that fires caused by cigarettes led to other individuals’ deaths. In one case pending in federal court in Massachusetts (Sarro), the district court in August 2009 granted in part PM USA’s motion to dismiss, but ruled that two claims unrelated to product design could go forward. In November 2010, PM USA filed a motion for summary judgment. Argument was heard on March 2, 2011. In a Kentucky federal court case (Walker), the court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims in February 2009 and plaintiffs subsequently filed a notice of appeal. The appeal is pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Argument was held in October 2010.

UST Litigation

Types of Cases

Claims related to smokeless tobacco products generally fall within the following categories:

First, UST and/or its tobacco subsidiaries has been named in certain health care cost reimbursement/third-party recoupment/class action litigation against the major domestic cigarette companies and others seeking damages and other relief. The complaints in these cases on their face predominantly relate to the usage of cigarettes; within that context, certain complaints contain a few allegations relating specifically to smokeless tobacco products. These actions are in varying stages of pretrial activities.

Second, UST and/or its tobacco subsidiaries has been named in certain actions in West Virginia brought on behalf of individual plaintiffs against cigarette manufacturers, smokeless tobacco manufacturers, and other organizations seeking damages and other relief in connection with injuries allegedly sustained as a result of tobacco usage, including smokeless tobacco products. Included among the plaintiffs are five individuals alleging use of USSTC’s smokeless tobacco products and alleging the types of injuries claimed to be associated with the use of smokeless tobacco products. While certain of these actions had not been consolidated for pretrial and trial proceedings, USSTC, along with other non-cigarette manufacturers, has remained severed from such proceedings since December 2001.

 

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Third, UST and/or its tobacco subsidiaries has been named in a number of other individual tobacco and health suits. Plaintiffs’ allegations of liability in these cases are based on various theories of recovery, such as negligence, strict liability, fraud, misrepresentation, design defect, failure to warn, breach of implied warranty, addiction, and breach of consumer protection statutes. Plaintiffs seek various forms of relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, and certain equitable relief, including but not limited to disgorgement. Defenses raised in these cases include lack of causation, assumption of the risk, comparative fault and/or contributory negligence, and statutes of limitations. USSTC is currently named in one such action in Florida (Vassallo).

Certain Other Actions

IRS Challenges to PMCC Leases: The IRS concluded its examination of Altria Group, Inc.’s consolidated tax returns for the years 1996 through 1999, and issued a final Revenue Agent’s Report (“RAR”) in March 2006. The RAR disallowed tax benefits pertaining to certain PMCC leveraged lease transactions (referred to by the IRS as lease-in/lease-out (“LILO”) and sale-in/lease-out (“SILO”) transactions), for the years 1996 through 1999. Altria Group, Inc. agreed with all conclusions of the RAR, with the exception of the disallowance of tax benefits pertaining to the LILO and SILO transactions. Altria Group, Inc. contested approximately $150 million of federal income tax and net interest assessed and paid with regard to them.

In October 2006, Altria Group, Inc. filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to claim refunds on a portion of these federal income tax payments and associated interest for the years 1996 and 1997. In July 2009, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the IRS and, in April 2010, after denying Altria Group, Inc.’s post-trial motions, the district court entered final judgment in favor of the IRS. Altria Group, Inc. filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in June 2010.

In March 2008, Altria Group, Inc. filed a second complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking a refund of the federal income tax payments and associated interest for the years 1998 and 1999 attributable to the disallowance of tax benefits claimed in those years with respect to the leases subject to the jury verdict and with respect to certain other leases entered into in 1998 and 1999. In May 2009, the district court granted a stay pending the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case involving the 1996 and 1997 years.

In May 2010, Altria Group, Inc. executed a closing agreement with the IRS for the 2000-2003 years, which resolved various tax matters of Altria Group, Inc. and its former subsidiaries, with the exception of the LILO and SILO transactions. Altria Group, Inc. disputes the IRS’s disallowance of tax benefits related to the LILO and SILO transactions in the 2000-2003 years. On March 24, 2011, Altria Group, Inc. filed claims for a refund of approximately $945 million of federal income tax and associated interest paid in July 2010 in connection with the closing agreement, with respect to the LILO and SILO transactions that PMCC entered into during the 1996-2003 years. If the IRS disallows the claims, as Altria Group, Inc. anticipates, Altria Group, Inc. intends to commence litigation in federal court. Altria Group, Inc. and the IRS agreed that, with the exception of the LILO and SILO transactions, the tax treatment reported by Altria Group, Inc. on its consolidated federal income tax returns for the 2000-2003 years, as amended by the agreed-upon adjustments in the closing agreement, is appropriate and final. The IRS may not assess against Altria Group, Inc. any further taxes or additions to tax (including penalties) with respect to these years.

Altria Group, Inc. further expects the IRS and impacted states to disallow income tax benefits claimed in subsequent years related to the LILO and SILO transactions that PMCC entered into from 1996 through 2003. For the period January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2011, the disallowance of federal and state income tax benefits and associated interest related to the LILO and SILO transactions would be

 

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approximately $1.1 billion, taking into account federal and state income taxes paid or payable on gains associated with sales of leased assets during that period and excluding potential penalties. The payment, if any, of this amount would depend upon the timing and outcome of future IRS audits and any related administrative challenges or litigation. The IRS is currently auditing the 2004-2006 tax years.

As of March 31, 2011, the LILO and SILO transactions represented approximately 41.3% of the Net Finance Assets of PMCC’s lease portfolio. PMCC has not entered into any LILO or SILO transactions since 2003.

Should Altria Group, Inc. not prevail in these matters, Altria Group, Inc. may have to accelerate the payment of significant amounts of federal and state income taxes, pay associated interest costs and penalties, if imposed, and significantly lower its earnings to reflect the recalculation of the income from the affected leveraged leases, which could have a material effect on the earnings and cash flows of Altria Group, Inc. in a particular fiscal quarter or fiscal year. A recalculation of income for all the affected leases, if required, would result in a one-time charge against reported earnings of approximately $650 million (excluding potential penalties) in the quarter in which the recalculation occurred. Approximately 50% of this charge would represent a reduction in cumulative lease earnings booked to date that would be recaptured over the remainder of the affected lease terms. The remaining portion of the earnings charge would represent a permanent charge for interest on tax underpayments.

Kraft Thrift Plan Case: Four participants in the Kraft Foods Global, Inc. Thrift Plan (“Kraft Thrift Plan”), a defined contribution plan, filed a class action complaint on behalf of all participants and beneficiaries of the Kraft Thrift Plan in July 2008 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Named defendants in this action include Altria Corporate Services, Inc. (now Altria Client Services Inc.) and certain company committees that allegedly had a relationship to the Kraft Thrift Plan. Plaintiffs request, among other remedies, that defendants restore to the Kraft Thrift Plan all losses improperly incurred. The Altria Group, Inc. defendants deny any violation of ERISA or other unlawful conduct and are defending the case vigorously.

In December 2009, the court granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint. In addition to dismissing certain claims made by plaintiffs for equitable relief under ERISA as to all defendants, the court dismissed claims alleging excessive administrative fees and mismanagement of company stock funds as to one of the Altria Group, Inc. defendants. In February 2010, the court granted a joint stipulation dismissing the fee and stock fund claims without prejudice as to the remaining defendants, including Altria Corporate Services, Inc. Accordingly, the only claim remaining at this time relates to the alleged negligence of plan fiduciaries for including the Growth Equity Fund and Balanced Fund as Kraft Thrift Plan investment options. Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification in March 2010, which the court granted in August 2010. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on January 21, 2011, and plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment. On March 14, 2011, defendants filed a motion to vacate the class certification in light of recent precedent in the United States Seventh Circuit.

Under the terms of a Distribution Agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and Kraft, the Altria Group, Inc. defendants may be entitled to indemnity against any liabilities incurred in connection with this case.

Environmental Regulation

Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries (and former subsidiaries) are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations concerning the discharge of materials into the environment, or otherwise related to environmental protection, including, in the United States: The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation

 

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and Liability Act (commonly known as “Superfund”), which can impose joint and several liability on each responsible party. Subsidiaries (and former subsidiaries) of Altria Group, Inc. are involved in several matters subjecting them to potential costs of remediation and natural resource damages under Superfund or other laws and regulations. Altria Group, Inc.’s subsidiaries expect to continue to make capital and other expenditures in connection with environmental laws and regulations. Altria Group, Inc. provides for expenses associated with environmental remediation obligations on an undiscounted basis when such amounts are probable and can be reasonably estimated. Such accruals are adjusted as new information develops or circumstances change. Other than those amounts, it is not possible to reasonably estimate the cost of any environmental remediation and compliance efforts that subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc. may undertake in the future. In the opinion of management, however, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, including the payment of any remediation costs or damages and the making of related expenditures, has not had, and is not expected to have, a material adverse effect on Altria Group, Inc.’s consolidated results of operations, capital expenditures, financial position or cash flows.

Guarantees

In the ordinary course of business, certain subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc. have agreed to indemnify a limited number of third parties in the event of future litigation. At March 31, 2011, subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc. were also contingently liable for $24 million of guarantees related to their own performance, consisting primarily of surety bonds. These items have not had, and are not expected to have, a significant impact on Altria Group, Inc.’s liquidity.

Under the terms of a distribution agreement between Altria Group, Inc. and PMI, entered into as a result of the PMI spin-off, liabilities concerning tobacco products will be allocated based in substantial part on the manufacturer. PMI will indemnify Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA for liabilities related to tobacco products manufactured by PMI or contract manufactured for PMI by PM USA, and PM USA will indemnify PMI for liabilities related to tobacco products manufactured by PM USA, excluding tobacco products contract manufactured for PMI. Altria Group, Inc. does not have a related liability recorded on its condensed consolidated balance sheet at March 31, 2011 as the fair value of this indemnification is insignificant.

As more fully discussed in Note 12. Condensed Consolidating Financial Information, PM USA has issued guarantees relating to Altria Group, Inc.’s obligations under its outstanding debt securities, borrowings under its Revolving Credit Agreements and amounts outstanding under its commercial paper program.

Redeemable Noncontrolling Interest

In September 2007, UST completed the acquisition of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars through one of its consolidated subsidiaries, Michelle-Antinori, LLC (“Michelle-Antinori”), in which UST holds an 85% ownership interest with a 15% noncontrolling interest held by Antinori California (“Antinori”). In connection with the acquisition of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, UST entered into a put arrangement with Antinori. The put arrangement, as later amended, provides Antinori with the right to require UST to purchase its 15% ownership interest in Michelle-Antinori at a price equal to Antinori’s initial investment of $27 million. The put arrangement became exercisable on September 11, 2010 and has no expiration date. As of March 31, 2011, the redemption value of the put arrangement did not exceed the noncontrolling interest balance. Therefore, no adjustment to the value of the redeemable noncontrolling interest was recognized in the condensed consolidated balance sheet for the put arrangement.

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redemption is outside of the control of UST. As such, the redeemable noncontrolling interest is reported in the mezzanine equity section in the condensed consolidated balance sheets at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010.

 

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Note 12. Condensed Consolidating Financial Information:

PM USA has issued guarantees relating to Altria Group, Inc.’s obligations under its outstanding debt securities, borrowings under its Revolving Credit Agreements and amounts outstanding under its commercial paper program (the “Guarantees”). Pursuant to the Guarantees, PM USA fully and unconditionally guarantees, as primary obligor, the payment and performance of Altria Group, Inc.’s obligations under the guaranteed debt instruments (the “Obligations”).

The Guarantees provide that PM USA fully and unconditionally guarantees the punctual payment when due, whether at stated maturity, by acceleration or otherwise, of the Obligations. The liability of PM USA under the Guarantees is absolute and unconditional irrespective of: any lack of validity, enforceability or genuineness of any provision of any agreement or instrument relating thereto; any change in the time, manner or place of payment of, or in any other term of, all or any of the Obligations, or any other amendment or waiver of or any consent to departure from any agreement or instrument relating thereto; any exchange, release or non-perfection of any collateral, or any release or amendment or waiver of or consent to departure from any other guarantee, for all or any of the Obligations; or any other circumstance that might otherwise constitute a defense available to, or a discharge of, Altria Group, Inc. or PM USA.

The obligations of PM USA under the Guarantees are limited to the maximum amount as will, after giving effect to such maximum amount and all other contingent and fixed liabilities of PM USA that are relevant under Bankruptcy Law, the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act, the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act or any similar federal or state law to the extent applicable to the Guarantees, result in PM USA’s obligations under the Guarantees not constituting a fraudulent transfer or conveyance. For this purpose, “Bankruptcy Law” means Title 11, U.S. Code, or any similar federal or state law for the relief of debtors.

PM USA will be unconditionally released and discharged from its obligations under each of the Guarantees upon the earliest to occur of:

 

   

the date, if any, on which PM USA consolidates with or merges into Altria Group, Inc. or any successor;

 

   

the date, if any, on which Altria Group, Inc. or any successor consolidates with or merges into PM USA;

 

   

the payment in full of the Obligations pertaining to such Guarantees; or

 

   

the rating of Altria Group, Inc.’s long-term senior unsecured debt by Standard & Poor’s of A or higher.

At March 31, 2011, the respective principal wholly-owned subsidiaries of Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA were not limited by long-term debt or other agreements in their ability to pay cash dividends or make other distributions with respect to their common stock.

The following sets forth the condensed consolidating balance sheets as of March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, condensed consolidating statements of earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2011 and 2010, and condensed consolidating statements of cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2011 and 2010 for Altria Group, Inc., PM USA and Altria Group, Inc.’s other subsidiaries that are not guarantors of Altria Group, Inc.’s debt instruments (the “Non-Guarantor Subsidiaries”). The financial information is based on

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Altria Group, Inc.’s understanding of the SEC interpretation and application of Rule 3-10 of SEC Regulation S-X.

The financial information may not necessarily be indicative of results of operations or financial position had PM USA and the Non-Guarantor Subsidiaries operated as independent entities. Altria Group, Inc. and PM USA account for investments in their subsidiaries under the equity method of accounting.

 

-59-


Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets

March 31, 2011

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

ASSETS

              

Consumer products

              

Cash and cash equivalents

     $ 3,417          $         $ 15          $         $ 3,432    

Receivables

                     62             71    

Inventories:

              

Leaf tobacco

        549          376             925    

Other raw materials

        130          44             174    

Work in process

                291             299    

Finished product

        193          233             426    
                                            
        880          944             1,824    

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     592          4,314          1,315          (6,221)      

Deferred income taxes

     18          1,189             (44)         1,163    

Other current assets

     218          345          111          (176)         498    
                                            

Total current assets

     4,246          6,736          2,447          (6,441)         6,988    

Property, plant and equipment, at cost

             3,690          1,407             5,099    

Less accumulated depreciation

             2,315          443             2,760    
                                            
        1,375          964             2,339    

Goodwill

           5,174             5,174    

Other intangible assets, net

                12,110             12,112    

Investment in SABMiller

     5,649                   5,649    

Investment in consolidated subsidiaries

     7,629          327             (7,956)      

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     6,500                (6,500)      

Other assets

     1,523          621          112          (435)         1,821    
                                            

Total consumer products assets

     25,547          9,061          20,807          (21,332)         34,083    

Financial services

              

Finance assets, net

           4,483             4,483    

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

           734          (734)      

Other assets

           18             18    
                                            

Total financial services assets

           5,235          (734)         4,501    
                                            

TOTAL ASSETS

     $   25,547          $   9,061          $   26,042          $     (22,066)         $     38,584    
                                            

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets (Continued)

March 31, 2011

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

LIABILITIES

              

Consumer products

              

Accounts payable

     $         $ 130          $ 152          $         $ 282    

Accrued liabilities:

              

Marketing

        372          48             420    

Taxes, except income taxes

        262          21             283    

Employment costs

     25          12          57             94    

Settlement charges

        4,563                     4,568    

Other

     334          479          333          (44)         1,102    

Income taxes

        461          52          (176)         337    

Dividends payable

     798                   798    

Due to Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     5,156          289          1,510          (6,955)      
                                            

Total current liabilities

     6,313          6,568          2,178          (7,175)         7,884    

Long-term debt

     11,295             899             12,194    

Deferred income taxes

     1,897             3,280          (435)         4,742    

Accrued pension costs

     204             783             987    

Accrued postretirement health care costs

        1,498          914             2,412    

Due to Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

           6,500          (6,500)      

Other liabilities

     385          334          176             895    
                                            

Total consumer products liabilities

     20,094          8,400          14,730          (14,110)         29,114    

Financial services

              

Deferred income taxes

           3,770             3,770    

Other liabilities

           212             212    
                                            

Total financial services liabilities

           3,982             3,982    
                                            

Total liabilities

     20,094          8,400          18,712          (14,110)         33,096    

Contingencies

              

Redeemable noncontrolling interest

           33             33    

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

              

Common stock

     935                     (9)         935    

Additional paid-in capital

     5,621          408          8,217          (8,625)         5,621    

Earnings reinvested in the business

     23,601          525          483          (1,008)         23,601    

Accumulated other comprehensive losses

     (1,391)         (272)         (1,414)         1,686          (1,391)   

Cost of repurchased stock

     (23,313)                  (23,313)   
                                            

Total stockholders’ equity attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

     5,453          661          7,295          (7,956)         5,453    

Noncontrolling interests

                        
                                            

Total stockholders’ equity

     5,453          661          7,297          (7,956)         5,455    
                                            

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

     $ 25,547          $ 9,061          $ 26,042          $ (22,066)         $ 38,584    
                                            

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets

December 31, 2010

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

ASSETS

              

Consumer products

              

Cash and cash equivalents

     $ 2,298          $         $ 16          $         $ 2,314    

Receivables

                     75             85    

Inventories:

              

Leaf tobacco

        594          366             960    

Other raw materials

        121          39             160    

Work in process

           299             299    

Finished product

        145          239             384    
                                            
        860          943             1,803    

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     429          2,902          1,556          (4,887)      

Deferred income taxes

     18          1,190             (43)         1,165    

Other current assets

     64          420          130             614    
                                            

Total current assets

     2,810          5,381          2,720          (4,930)         5,981    

Property, plant and equipment, at cost

             3,749          1,399             5,150    

Less accumulated depreciation

             2,343          425             2,770    
                                            
        1,406          974             2,380    

Goodwill

           5,174             5,174    

Other intangible assets, net

                12,116             12,118    

Investment in SABMiller

     5,367                   5,367    

Investment in consolidated subsidiaries

     7,561          325             (7,886)      

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     6,500                (6,500)      

Other assets

     1,511          680          98          (438)         1,851    
                                            

Total consumer products assets

     23,749          7,794          21,082          (19,754)         32,871    

Financial services

              

Finance assets, net

           4,502             4,502    

Due from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

           690          (690)      

Other assets

           29             29    
                                            

Total financial services assets

           5,221          (690)         4,531    
                                            

TOTAL ASSETS

     $  23,749          $   7,794          $   26,303          $     (20,444)         $     37,402    
                                            

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets (Continued)

December 31, 2010

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

LIABILITIES

              

Consumer products

              

Accounts payable

     $ -           $ 215           $ 314           $ -           $ 529     

Accrued liabilities:

              

Marketing

        347           100              447     

Taxes, except income taxes

        212           19              231     

Employment costs

     30           18           184              232     

Settlement charges

        3,531           4              3,535     

Other

     312           467           333           (43)          1,069     

Dividends payable

     797                    797     

Due to Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

     3,674           454           1,449           (5,577)       
                                            

Total current liabilities

     4,813           5,244           2,403           (5,620)          6,840     

Long-term debt

     11,295              899              12,194     

Deferred income taxes

     1,800              3,256           (438)          4,618     

Accrued pension costs

     204              987              1,191     

Accrued postretirement health care costs

        1,500           902              2,402     

Due to Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

           6,500           (6,500)       

Other liabilities

     445           335           169              949     
                                            

Total consumer products liabilities

     18,557           7,079           15,116           (12,558)          28,194     

Financial services

              

Deferred income taxes

           3,880              3,880     

Other liabilities

           101              101     
                                            

Total financial services liabilities

           3,981              3,981     
                                            

Total liabilities

     18,557           7,079           19,097           (12,558)          32,175     

Contingencies

              

Redeemable noncontrolling interest

           32              32     

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

              

Common stock

     935              9           (9)          935     

Additional paid-in capital

     5,751           408           8,217           (8,625)          5,751     

Earnings reinvested in the business

     23,459           583           385           (968)          23,459     

Accumulated other comprehensive losses

     (1,484)          (276)          (1,440)          1,716           (1,484)    

Cost of repurchased stock

     (23,469)                   (23,469)    
                                            

Total stockholders’ equity attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

     5,192           715           7,171           (7,886)          5,192     

Noncontrolling interests

           3              3     
                                            

Total stockholders’ equity

     5,192           715           7,174           (7,886)          5,195     
                                            

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

     $ 23,749           $ 7,794           $ 26,303           $ (20,444)          $ 37,402     
                                            

 

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Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Statements of Earnings

For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

Net revenues

     $ -           $ 5,011           $ 638           $ (6)          $ 5,643     

Cost of sales

        1,617           184           (6)          1,795     

Excise taxes on products

        1,619           81              1,700     
                                            

Gross profit

        1,775           373              2,148     

Marketing, administration and research costs

     45           498           58              601     

Asset impairment and exit costs

        2                 2     

Amortization of intangibles

           6              6     
                                            

Operating (expense) income

     (45)          1,275           309              1,539     

Interest and other debt expense (income), net

     165           (2)          115              278     

Earnings from equity investment in SABMiller

     (189)                   (189)    
                                            

(Loss) earnings before income taxes and equity earnings of subsidiaries

     (21)          1,277           194              1,450     

(Benefit) provision for income taxes

     (30)          473           69              512     

Equity earnings of subsidiaries

     928           13              (941)       
                                            

Net earnings

     937           817           125           (941)          938     

Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests

           (1)             (1)    
                                            

Net earnings attributable to Altria Group, Inc.

     $ 937           $ 817           $ 124           $ (941)          $ 937     
                                            

 

-64-


Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Statements of Earnings

For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2010

(in millions of dollars)

 

     Altria
Group, Inc.
     PM USA      Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
     Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
     Consolidated  

Net revenues

     $ -           $   5,133           $ 627           $ -           $ 5,760     

Cost of sales

        1,703           164              1,867     

Excise taxes on products

        1,731           78              1,809     
                                            

Gross profit

        1,699           385              2,084     

Marketing, administration and research costs

     36           509           96              641     

Asset impairment and exit costs

        5           2              7     

Amortization of intangibles

        3           3              6     
                                            

Operating (expense) income

     (36)          1,182           284              1,430     

Interest and other debt expense, net

     139           1           147              287     

Earnings from equity investment in SABMiller

     (138)                   (138)    
                                            

(Loss) earnings before income taxes and equity earnings of subsidiaries

     (37)          1,181           137              1,281     

(Benefit) provision for income taxes

     (27)          434           61              468     

Equity earnings of subsidiaries

     823                 (823)       
                                            

Net earnings

     $ 813           $ 747           $ 76           $ (823)          $ 813     
                                            

 

-65-


Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Statements of Cash Flows

For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011

(in millions of dollars)

 

    Altria
Group, Inc.
    PM USA     Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
    Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
    Consolidated  

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) OPERATING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities

    $ (332)         $ 2,514          $ (120)         $ -          $ 2,062     
                                       

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) INVESTING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Consumer products

         

Capital expenditures

      (4)         (9)           (13)    

Other

      1              1     

Financial services

         

Proceeds from finance assets

        4            4     
                                       

Net cash used in investing activities

      (3)         (5)           (8)    
                                       

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) FINANCING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Dividends paid on common stock

    (794)               (794)    

Issuances of common stock

    21                21     

Changes in amounts due to/from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

    1,319          (1,540)         221         

Cash dividends received from/(paid by) subsidiaries

    890          (864)         (26)        

Other

    15          (107)         (71)           (163)    
                                       

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

    1,451          (2,511)         124            (936)    
                                       

Cash and cash equivalents:

         

Increase (decrease)

    1,119          -          (1)         -          1,118     

Balance at beginning of period

    2,298            16            2,314     
                                       

Balance at end of period

    $ 3,417          $ -          $ 15          $ -          $ 3,432     
                                       

 

-66-


Table of Contents

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

(Unaudited)

 

Condensed Consolidating Statements of Cash Flows

For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2010

(in millions of dollars)

 

    Altria
Group, Inc.
    PM USA     Non-
Guarantor
Subsidiaries
    Total
Consolidating
Adjustments
    Consolidated  

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) OPERATING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities

    $ (131)         $ 2,154          $ 18          $ -          $ 2,041     
                                       

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) INVESTING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Consumer products

         

Capital expenditures

      (10)         (28)           (38)    

Other

        15            15     

Financial services

         

Proceeds from finance assets

        40            40     
                                       

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

      (10)         27            17     
                                       

CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) FINANCING

         

ACTIVITIES

         

Consumer products

         

Issuances of short-term borrowings

    200                200     

Dividends paid on common stock

    (706)               (706)    

Issuances of common stock

    21                21     

Changes in amounts due to/from Altria Group, Inc. and subsidiaries

    1,076          (1,173)         97         

Cash dividends received from/(paid by) subsidiaries

    930          (900)         (30)        

Other

    25          (71)         (108)           (154)    
                                       

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

    1,546          (2,144)         (41)           (639)    
                                       

Cash and cash equivalents:

         

Increase

    1,415          -          4          -          1,419     

Balance at beginning of period

    1,862            9            1,871     
                                       

Balance at end of period

    $ 3,277          $ -          $ 13          $ -          $ 3,290     
                                       

 

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Item 2.   

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Description of the Company

At March 31, 2011, Altria Group, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries included Philip Morris USA Inc. (“PM USA”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and certain smokeless products in the United States; UST LLC (“UST”), which through its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries including U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (“USSTC”) and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (“Ste. Michelle”), is engaged in the manufacture and sale of smokeless products and wine; and John Middleton Co. (“Middleton”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco. Philip Morris Capital Corporation (“PMCC”), another wholly-owned subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc., maintains a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases. In addition, Altria Group, Inc. held a 27.1% economic and voting interest in SABMiller plc (“SABMiller”) at March 31, 2011, which is accounted for under the equity method of accounting. Altria Group, Inc.’s access to the operating cash flows of its wholly-owned subsidiaries consists of cash received from the payment of dividends and distributions, and the payment of interest on intercompany loans by its subsidiaries. In addition, Altria Group, Inc. receives cash dividends on its interest in SABMiller, if and when SABMiller pays such dividends on its stock.

The products and services of Altria Group, Inc.’s subsidiaries constitute Altria Group, Inc.’s reportable segments of cigarettes, smokeless products, cigars, wine and financial services.

 

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Executive Summary

The following executive summary is intended to provide significant highlights of the Discussion and Analysis that follows.

Consolidated Results of Operations – The changes in Altria Group, Inc.’s net earnings and diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) attributable to Altria Group, Inc. for the three months ended March 31, 2011, from the three months ended March 31, 2010, were due primarily to the following:

 

     Net Earnings     Diluted EPS  
     (in millions, except per share data)  

For the three months ended March 31, 2010

   $ 813      $ 0.39   

2010 Asset impairment, exit, implementation and integration costs

     27        0.01   

2010 UST acquisition-related costs

     3     

2010 SABMiller special items

     11        0.01   

2010 Tax items

     12        0.01   
                

Subtotal 2010 items

     53        0.03   
                

2011 Asset impairment and exit costs

     (1  

2011 UST acquisition-related costs

     (3  

2011 SABMiller special items

     21        0.01   
                

Subtotal 2011 items

     17        0.01   
                

Operations

     54        0.02   
                

For the three months ended March 31, 2011

   $ 937      $ 0.45   
                

See discussion of events affecting the comparability of statement of earnings amounts in the Consolidated Operating Results section of the following Discussion and Analysis.

Operations – The increase of $54 million shown in the table above was due primarily to the following:

 

   

Higher income from the cigarettes and smokeless products segments; and

 

   

Lower interest expense;

partially offset by:

 

   

Lower income from the cigars segment.

For further details, see the Consolidated Operating Results and Operating Results by Business Segment sections of the following Discussion and Analysis.

 

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2011 Forecasted Results – In April 2011, Altria G