U.S. Markets closed

Molson Coors profit jumps after joint venture ends

NEW YORK (AP) -- Beer maker Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income rose as it benefited from a payment it received for a joint venture that ended early.

But the company's U.S. joint venture with SABMiller PLC, MillerCoors, said sales of Coors Light and Miller Lite slowed.

MillerCoors is working to attract millennial customers, in part with brand extensions and packaging. It will change the packaging of Coors Light every four months and last week launched Coors Light Summer Brew. The company brought back a retro white Miller Lite can, which it plans to keep selling through September. It will unveil a new design in October.

Molson Coors, which is based in Denver and Montreal and also sells beer in Canada, Europe and elsewhere, posted overall results that beat Wall Street expectations. Shares rose $1.77, or 3 percent, to $61.54 in late morning trading. The stock rose to an all-time high of $62.42 earlier Wednesday

Net income rose to $163.4 million, or 88 cents per share, in the quarter ending March 31, compared with $28.5 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The brewer said it received $63.2 million after cancelling its joint venture in Canada with Mexican brewer Modelo early. Rival Anheuser-Busch InBev took over the brands for that venture.

Excluding one-time items, Molson Coors earned 55 cents per share. Analysts expected 35 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue, after paying excise taxes, slipped 1.5 percent to $816 million from $828.5 million. Analysts expected $812.9 million.