Constellation Shares Rise As Mexican Beer Brands Propel Sales
Constellation Brands Inc., the seller of Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka, raised its annual profit forecast as sales of beer brands like Corona Extra and Modelo Especial beat forecasts.
Earnings will be $6.30 to $6.45 a share, excluding some items, in the year through February, the Victor, New York-based company said Wednesday in a statement. That’s up from a projection of $6.05 to $6.35 in April and tops analysts’ average estimate of $6.29.
Constellation continues to see strong sales gains from the Mexican beer brands it acquired full control of in 2013. With revenue in its beer business gaining 20 percent last quarter, driven by Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, the company narrowed its forecast for beer sales growth this year to 16 percent to 17 percent. That compares with the previous projection of 14 percent to 17 percent.
“Strong consumer demand and excellent marketplace execution helped us to win the July 4th holiday,” Chief Executive Officer Rob Sands said in the statement. “These excellent results are driving the upward revision to our EPS target for the year.”
The shares jumped as much as 4.6 percent to $173.55 in New York on Wednesday, the largest intraday gain since April 6. Constellation already had climbed 16 percent this year through Tuesday.
Constellation also said Wednesday that it’s buying High West Distillery, a Utah-based maker of premium whiskeys, for an undisclosed amount. The company sells about 70,000 cases annually, with brands including American Prairie Bourbon and Rendezvous Rye.
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