Constellation Brands posts 37 percent jump in 4Q profit on beer sales; announces 1st dividend

MarketsAssociated Press

Constellation Brands said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 37 percent as sales of its Mexican beer brands Corona Extra and Modelo Especial rose. Constellation also said it will pay its first dividend since it went public 42 years ago, and its shares rose to an all-time high Thursday.

The wine, liquor and beer company said it will pay a dividend of 31 cents per share for holders of its Class A common stock and 28 cents per share for its Class B common stock. It will be paid on May 22, to those who own stock by May 8.

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Beer sales, which included Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Negra Modelo, rose 12 percent. Sales of its wine and spirit brands, including Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka, rose 1 percent.

The Victor, New York, company reported net income of $214.6 million, or $1.06 per share, in the three month ending February 28, compared with $157.2 million, or 79 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.03 per share, topping Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 94 cents per share.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $1.36 billion in the period, meeting Wall Street forecasts.

For the year, the company reported profit of $839.3 million, or $4.17 per share. Revenue was reported as $6.03 billion.

Constellation Brands expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.70 to $4.90 per share. Analysts expected earnings of $4.82 per share, according to FactSet.

Shares of Constellation Brands Inc. rose 65 cents to $119.82 in morning trading Thursday. Earlier, they reached an all-time high of $121.88. Its shares are up about 48 percent in the last 12 months.


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