What Investors Did Not Like About Constellation Brands Earnings

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Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) reported fiscal first-quarter 2019 results before markets opened Friday. The premium wine and beverage company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.20 on net sales of $2.05 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $2.32 on $1.93 billion in revenue. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $2.43 and revenues of $2.04 billion.

The company reaffirmed its full-year adjusted EPS guidance of $9.40 to $9.70 per share and raised its GAAP EPS outlook to a range of $10.93 to $11.23 per share. In fiscal year 2018, GAAP EPS totaled $11.47 and adjusted EPS came in at $8.70.

In the first quarter, Constellation recognized a $258 million unrealized gain and a $101 million realized gain in reported basis results for an increase in fair value of the investments in Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) and the sale of its Accolade Wine Investment.

CEO Rob Sands commented:

Our first quarter results are consistent with our expectations for the business and reflect planned investments in innovation for key brands, digital enablement, emerging opportunities, and operational efficiencies. We expect these investments to yield excellent returns well into the future. I am especially pleased with the successful execution and momentum of our new product introductions, including Corona Premier and Familiar, which drove industry-leading depletion growth of 9% for our beer business for the quarter.

Constellation expects its beer business to post high-single-digit volume growth in the 2019 fiscal year and 9% to 11% growth in net sales and operating income. Wine and spirits sales were down 2.5% in the quarter, and the company expects net sales and operating income growth for the year in the range of 2% to 4%.

For the second quarter, analysts have estimated EPS of $2.86 and revenue of $2.26 billion. For the full year, the consensus estimates call for adjusted EPS of $9.73 and sales of $8.15 billion.

The company’s missed first-quarter EPS estimates and the adjusted EPS outlook fell below analyst expectations. This is a never a combination that lifts investors’ spirits.

Constellation’s stock traded down about 4.4% in Friday’s premarket session, at $222.00 in a 52-week range of $191.06 to $236.62. The 12-month consensus price target is $254.19.