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Molson Coors (TAP) Prospects Look Bright: Should You Hold?

Zacks Equity Research

A prudent investment decision involves buying stocks that offer solid prospects and selling those that appear risky. Again, at times it is rational to hold certain stocks that have enough potential but are weighed down by tough market conditions. Here we have discussed one such stock, Molson Coors Brewing Company TAP, with expected long-term earnings per share growth rate of 8.73% and a VGM Score of ‘B.’

Molson Coors’ stock price history reveals that the stock has outperformed the Zacks categorized Beverages-Alcohol industryover the past one year. While the stock yielded 4.0%, the industry gained 2.4% in the said time frame. On the other hand, the broader Consumer Staple sector, of which they are part of, grew 5.2% in the same time frame. We believe that this rally has been driven by solid growth strategies and cost saving measures.

Driving Factors

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has shown an uptrend in terms of earnings, as evident from its estimate revisions for year 2017. Estimates have increased 8.9% to $6.39 for 2017.

However, we note that Denver-based Molson Coors delivered weaker than expected fourth-quarter 2016 results last month. Net sales, including excise tax, declined 4.2% year over year to $2.47 billion in fourth-quarter 2016 and lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.9%. Sales declined in the regions of Canada and Europe. However, sales in International regions improved, driven by the acquisition of the Miller global brands. Currency had a negative impact of $53.0 million on overall sales in the quarter. On a constant currency basis, sales dropped 2.2%.

Adjusted earnings of 46 cents were also way below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 88 cents by 47.7%. However, earnings increased 17.9% from the prior-year earnings of 39 cents per share, on the back of higher income in the U.S. and improved performance in International segment, partially offset by the indirect tax provision in Europe.

Though continued difficult economy and competitive pressure, along with lower volumes and significant unfavorable foreign currency remain company’s headwinds, the company relies on its cost savings initiatives and increased marketing investments to drive profits.

In terms of cost savings, the company exceeded its 2016 goal by achieving more than $165 million of cost reductions. After the acquisition of the remaining 58% stake in MillerCoors, the company expects to drive substantial cost synergies in the next three years and continues to expect this transaction to be significantly accretive to underlying earnings in the first full year of operations. This will also help the company to drive top-line growth, profit, cash generation, debt pay-down and total shareholder returns in the years ahead. Further, the company continues to expect cost savings of $550 million over the next three years till 2019.

Molson Coors has been focusing on gaining share in the premium light segment in the U.S. through Coors Light and Miller Lite brands, since the past many quarters, as the demand for premium beer is growing and can thus boost volumes.

Molson Coors Brewing Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Molson Coors Brewing Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Molson Coors Brewing Company Quote

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader consumer staple sector include ConAgra Foods, Inc. CAG Ingredion, Inc. INGR and Pinnacle Foods, Inc. PF, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

While Ingredion has a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.00%, Pinnacle and ConAgra have growth rates of 8.33% and 8.00%.

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Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP): Free Stock Analysis Report
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