Why Constellation Brands Earnings Are Surviving Thursday’s Market Chaos

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Thursday’s drop in the broad markets might drive some to get a drink, and in the same vein it seems that this one beer giant has been cashing in big over the most recent quarter. Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) released its fiscal first-quarter financial report before the markets opened on Thursday. The results pushed Constellation Brands to be one of the winners on this bleak trading day.

The company posted $2.34 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.12 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.98 in EPS and revenue of $1.95 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.54 and $1.87 billion in revenue.

Overall net sales growth totaled 3%, while organic net sales growth totaled 7%, partially offset by the net impact of the Canadian wine business divestiture less acquisition benefits.

On the other hand, this firm’s bread and butter, or more appropriately, wine and spirits net sales decreased by 4%. But this is not as bad as it seems at face value. This reflects a 6% increase in organic net sales driven primarily by benefits from mix, price and volume growth, which was more than offset by the net impact of the Canadian wine business divestiture.

In terms of the outlook for the coming fiscal year, Constellation Brands expects to see EPS in the range of $7.55 to $7.75 on a reported basis, as well as in the range of $7.90 to $8.10 on a comparable basis. For the wine and spirits business, the company continues to expect net sales to decrease between 4% and 6%. The consensus estimates call for $7.94 in EPS and $7.65 billion in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.

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

We’re off to a great start for our new fiscal year as we continue to deliver excellent results that demonstrate our commitment to sustain profitable growth and build shareholder value. Across the business, we`re driving consumer demand for our exceptional portfolio of premium products while executing strong financial and operational performance.

Sands continued:

The first quarter results for our beer business are a testament to the ongoing growth opportunities we have for our iconic portfolio of brands, which posted depletions of almost 12% for the quarter. Excellent execution during the Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day holidays led to significant share gains, as Constellation remains the #1 growth driver in the high-end of the U.S. beer market. In addition, our new Corona Premier and Familiar products are delivering strong performance in test markets and they are well ahead of our expectations.

Shares of Constellation Brands were trading up 6% at $194.75 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $191.61 and a 52-week range of $144.00 to $197.41.

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