Consumer Products

Constellation Brands Cheers Solid Q3 Results

Chris Lange

When Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday, the beverage giant said that it had $1.85 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.00 billion in revenue. That topped consensus estimates of $1.83 in EPS and revenue of $1.95 billion. In the same period of last year, the company said it had EPS of $1.56 and $1.97 billion in revenue.

Constellation Beer Business posted import beer depletion growth of 7.9% and overall depletion growth of 7.3% driven by Modelo Especial, which grew depletions nearly 15% and solidified its position as the number four beer brand in the entire U.S. beer category. The Beer segment had net sales of $1.31 billion, with an operating income of $514.9 million.

The Wine & Spirits business reported $688.8 million in revenue and $180.4 million in operating income.

Constellation’s share of Canopy Growth’s equity earnings and related activities for the quarter totaled a gain of $46.2 million on a reported basis and a loss of $71.1 million on a comparable basis. The company has recognized a $223 million unrealized net gain in reported basis results since the initial Canopy investment in November 2017. A $534 million decrease in the fair value of Canopy investments was recognized for the third quarter of fiscal 2020.

Looking ahead, the firm updated its guidance for the fiscal 2020 year. The company expects to see Beer net sales growth of 7% to 8% and Wine & Spirits net sales decline 8% to 10%, with EPS in the range of $9.45 to $9.55. Consensus estimates are calling for $8.51 in EPS and $8.17 billion in revenue for the year.

Bill Newlands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, commented:

It’s shaping up to be a dynamic year at Constellation. We delivered strong performance in Q3 powered largely by our beer business and we are increasing our EPS and cash flow guidance for the year. Our Wine & Spirits transformation strategy is gaining traction and our revised agreement with Gallo paves the way for accelerated growth and margin performance for this business going forward.

Shares of Constellation Brands traded up about 3% at $190.50 early Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $150.37 to $214.48. The consensus price target is $224.16.