Constellation Brands Cheers Solid Q4 Earnings

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Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) released its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company posted $1.48 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.79 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.36 in EPS and revenue of $1.59 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.19 and $1.54 billion in revenue.

Net sales for the beer business increased 17%. This was due to a 13% increase in organic net sales, driven primarily by volume growth and favorable pricing, as well as the acquisition benefit from Ballast Point.

Wine and spirits net sales increased 6%. This reflects a 4% increase in organic net sales on a constant currency basis, driven primarily by volume growth and the acquisition benefit from Meiomi and Prisoner.

In terms of the outlook for the coming fiscal year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $7.65 to $7.95, net sales growth of 9% to 11% in the beer business, and a net sales decrease between 4% and 6% in the wine and spirits business.

The consensus estimates are $7.51 in EPS and $7.66 billion in revenue for the coming fiscal year.

Rob Sands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, commented:

Fiscal 2017 has been a year marked by operational excellence and record financial performance. We look forward to building on these results to achieve comparable EPS growth that exceeds our target of at least 10% for fiscal 2018, as we continue to build shareholder value.

He continued:

Our beer business continues to be a powerhouse for growth. We exceeded our profit and margin goals for the year. These excellent results were driven by solid performance for every brand in our portfolio, which resulted in Constellation being the #1 growth contributor to the U.S. beer industry for the year. In addition, our portfolio posted industry-leading depletion growth in the 9 to 10 percent range for the first calendar quarter of 2017 after a challenging December for the U.S. beer industry.

Shares of Constellation Brands were last seen up 7% at $172.72 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $178.06 and a 52-week trading range of $144.00 to $175.43.