The adult-beverage producer, importer, and marketer reported adjusted earnings of $1.07 per share on $1.5 billion in net sales. That's up from $0.38 per share and $673 million, respectively, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts would have settled for $0.93 per share and $1.4 billion, respectively. The company also staked out full-year earnings guidance between the $4.10 and $4.25 marks per share. These numbers also look strong in comparison to Wall Street's current $4.12 estimate.
The sales surge rested on last summer's $5.3 billion acquisition of the U.S. rights for Grupo Modelo beer brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD ) . AB InBev spun the American rights and assets off to Constellation in order to satisfy regulatory demands on its larger $20 billion deal for worldwide control of Mexico's largest brewer.
The deal added $868 million to Constellation's first-quarter sales, and $288 million to the quarter's operating income. Beer shipments increased by 10.5% year over year, driving a 14% increase in net sales for these operations. Excluding these Modelo-based gains, Constellation's remaining portfolio saw sales decline 2.3% year over year, while increasing wine and spirits operating profits by 12%.
"We posted a great quarter reflecting outstanding results for our beer business as well as wine and spirits performance that was generally in-line with our expectations," said Constellation CEO Rob Sands in a prepared statement. "Within our beer business, we continue to capitalize on our industry-leading performance and excellent retail execution across our entire Mexican beer portfolio."