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Constellation Brands' profit slips in Q4

Rochester Business Journal
April 10, 2013

Victor-based Constellation Brands Inc. reported an increase in sales, but a decline in profits for the fourth quarter.

The Victor-based company earned $81.7 million, or 43 cents a share, down from $103 million, or 51 cents a share, the prior year. Excluding restructuring costs and other special charges, earnings were 47 cents a share, topping analyst estimates of 45 cents a share.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $695.9 million, up from $628.1 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Constellation Brands to report sales of $667 million for the quarter.

"This has been an exciting year for Constellation," said Rob Sands, president and CEO, in a statement.

For the year, Constellation Brands reported net income of $388 million, or $2.04 a share, down from net income of $445 million, or $2.13 a share, the prior year. Sales were $2.8 billion, up 5 percent from sales of $2.7 billion the year before.  Analysts expected earnings per share of $2.17 on sales of $2.77 billion.

The local business last week received good news last week regarding its deal to acquire the remaining 50 percent interest in Crown Imports LLC, its joint venture with Grupo Modelo. It also plans to purchase the Piedra Negras brewery in Mexico from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA and the perpetual brand rights for Corona and all other Modelo Brands in the United States.

Constellation Brands received regulatory approvals for the transaction including an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice and approval by the Mexican Antitrust Commission, the company said recently.

The purchase price for the combined transaction is $4.75 billion. It includes $1.85 billion for the remaining interest in Crown, and $2.9 billion for the brewery and perpetual brand rights. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur around the end of Constellation Brands’ first quarter of fiscal 2014.

For fiscal 2014, the company forecast earnings of $2.55 to $2.85 a share, excluding items, assuming its acquisition of the U.S. business of Grupo Modelo closes by the end of the current first quarter.

Shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) were trading midday at $48.95, up roughly 1 percent from Tuesday’s close of $48.63.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 


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