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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Tobacco company Lorillard says its first-quarter profit fell more than 17 percent as its costs rose, it sold fewer cigarettes and its year-ago results benefited lower expenses from a longstanding legal settlement.

The nation's third-biggest tobacco company said Thursday it earned $271 million, or 74 cents per share, for the period. That's down from $328 million, or 86 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 69 cents per share, 3 cents lower than analysts expected.

Revenue excluding excises taxes rose 2 percent to $1.15 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.19 billion.

Lorillard Inc., based in Greensboro, N.C., says its cigarette shipments fell about 3 percent.

Volumes of Newport, Lorillard's biggest brand, fell 1.5 percent. The brand's U.S. retail market share grew to 13 percent.

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