Constellation Brands Beats Earnings Targets on Huge U.S. Beer Sales

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ  ) reported third-quarter results this morning, beating Wall Street's earnings estimates by a large margin. The stock jumped as much as 12.1% overnight on the news.

The company saw very strong beer sales in America this summer, particularly in Mexican brands such as Modelo Especial and Corona. The trend continued into the fall and holiday seasons, pushing Constellation's sales 88% higher year over year.

The $1.44 billion top-line revenue was stronger than the $1.4 billion predicted by analysts. Earnings surged 75% higher year over year on a constant currency basis, landing at $1.10 per share. Analyst estimates would have settled for $0.91 per share.

Constellation's sky-high growth includes the impact of a complex $4.8 billion deal that added several of Grupo Modelo's brands to Constellation along with a brewery facility in Mexico. A part of Anheuser Busch InBev's Modelo buyout, AB InBev sold these assets to Constellation in order to secure regulatory approval.

Constellation CFO Bob Ryder noted that free cash flows surged 61% year over year, and he promised to invest the cash profits into future growth: "We expect brewery capital expansion investments to significantly increase in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year."

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