Constellation Brands Wows With Q2 Earnings

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When Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday, the company posted $1.77 in earnings per share (EPS) on $2.02 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $1.66 in EPS and revenue of $1.96 billion. The same period from last year reportedly had EPS of $1.56 and $1.73 billion in revenue.

Net sales for beer increased 20%. This was due to a 15% increase in organic net sales, driven primarily by volume growth and favorable pricing, and the acquisition benefit from Ballast Point.

Wine and spirits net sales increased 12%. This reflects an 8% increase in organic net sales on a constant currency basis, driven primarily by volume growth and favorable mix, as well as the acquisition benefit from Meiomi and The Prisoner wine brands.

The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.40 per share of Class A Common Stock and $0.36 per share of Class B Common Stock, payable on November 22, to shareholders on record as of November 8.

In terms of guidance for fiscal 2017, the company expects to have EPS in the range of $6.25 to $6.40, net sales growth between 16% and 17%, and operating income growth at the high teens level. The previous guidance called for EPS in the range of $6.05 to $6.35.

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

The strong consumer demand for our portfolio continues to propel our business. During the quarter, we gained share and improved margins across our business, while continuing to make smart investments designed to fuel growth today and in the future. I am proud of our accomplishments in the first half of the year, which are enabling an increase in our overall guidance for the year.

Shares of Constellation Brands closed Tuesday at $165.85, with a consensus analyst price target of $179.94 and a 52-week trading range of $130.23 to $168.68. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up nearly 4% at $172.25, in early trading indications Wednesday.

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