Shares of Boston Beer Co. Inc. Fall on Mixed Results, Weak Outlook

In the fourth quarter, strong sales did not translate into big earnings for Boston Beer. Management sees another challenging year ahead.

Feb 25, 2014 at 6:55PM
Sam Logo

Image source: Boston Beer.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) just reported fourth-quarter results, beating Wall Street's revenue estimates but falling short on the bottom line. Shares fell as much as 8.5% in after-hours trading.

The specialty beer brewer reported GAAP earnings of $1.33 per diluted share on $205 million in sales. That's a 6% year-over-year earnings increase and 29% higher sales. Analysts were looking for earnings of $1.51 per share on revenue near $193 million.

Looking ahead, Boston Beer's earnings guidance for fiscal year 2014 centers around $6.20 per share. The high end of management's projections falls below the current Street view at $6.47 per share.

Like other beer specialists, Boston Beer reports a metric known as depletion growth. Depletion refers to the rate of product shipments from distributors to consumers, stores, and entertainment establishments, and is not always the same as shipments from the producer to distributors.

In the fourth quarter and full year of 2013, Boston Beer's depletions grew 20% and 23%, respectively. In other words, revenues outgrew depletions in the fourth quarter. In 2014, the company expects a depletion rate between 16% and 20%.

Management kept a stiff upper lip, nonetheless.

"In the fourth quarter, our depletions growth remained strong and benefited from growth in our Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard brands," said Boston Beer CEO Martin Roper. "With the launch of several new beers, and our increased investment behind Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard, we believe we are well-positioned to maintain our momentum."

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services recommends and owns shares of Boston Beer. 

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information