After hitting a 52-week high of $45.92 on Mar 15, the shares of Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) gathered momentum yet again to craft a new high of $49.22 yesterday. This alcoholic beverage company eventually closed at $48.79, up 3.2% from the previous day’s session and generated a year-to-date return of roughly 30%. The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 18.77x, a 3.5% discount to the peer group average of 19.46x.
An impressive record of beating the quarterly earnings expectations, sustained focus on brand building as well as initiatives to introduce new products in its wine and spirits business, are the major attributes that pushed the shares of Constellation Brands to a new high. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 4,916K.
The recent third-quarter fiscal 2013 results have added to its streak of upbeat performances. Constellation Brands posted adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share that surged from 50 cents in the year-ago quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents by 14.6%, primarily driven by increased sales and improved margins. In the last 4 quarters, the company has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimates by an average of 32.5%.
Net sales in the quarter increased 9% to $766.9 million from the year-ago quarter. The hike was driven by higher volumes and better product mix.
Bolstered by a strong quarterly performance, the company raised its fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings guidance to a range of $2.10–$2.20 per share, up from the earlier forecast of $2.00–$2.10. However, the projected earnings of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock reflects a decline of 10.3% to 6% from fiscal 2012.
Constellation Brands is slated to report its fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 results on Apr 10. The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for the quarter and fiscal year stand at 45 cents and $2.18 per share, respectively.
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