Craft beer giant Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM) gained 16% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, compared to a nearly 3% decline in the broader market.
Continue Reading Below
The rally contributed to solid gains for shareholders over the past year, yet the stock is well below all-time highs it set back in early 2015 of over $300 per share.
March's increase came as investors debated whether the company was on the brink of a building recovery. Depletions, a measure of beer consumption, fell 5% in fiscal 2017 to push sales down for the second straight year.
However, that rate improved to just a 2% loss in the year's final quarter, leading management to forecast a return to modestly positive depletions in 2018.
Incoming CEO Dave Burwick and his team are hoping that innovative launches like Sam '76 and a new flavor in the Angry Orchard franchise will help counteract difficult industry trends, including the proliferation of small craft breweries and a shift in demand toward premium imported beers.
That's possible, but what's easier to predict is the fact that cost cuts should power a second straight boost in profitability as gross margin improves to around 53% of sales this year from 51% in 2016.
10 stocks we like better than Boston BeerWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Boston Beer wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Click here to learn about these picks!
*Stock Advisor returns as of April 2, 2018