4 Things to Watch When Craft Brew Reportshttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/06/4-things-to-watch-when-craft-brew-reports.aspx John-Erik Koslosky
March 6, 2014
Craft Brew Alliance (NASDAQ: BREW)has its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings call on Friday. Since investors have already seen the preliminary results from the fourth quarter and full year of 2013, the real focus should be on the company's earnings conference call. Here are four things to watch for when management discusses past performance and looks to the months and years ahead.
Will growth speed up in 2014?
But it wasn't the whole story, hence the company's 6% overall 2013 revenue growth. Craft Brew's Widmer Brothers brand continued to be a drag on overall sales, despite it having some of the best beer among all the Craft Brew labels, according to reviewers on RateBeer.com and other sites. One of the biggest problems with Widmer was that its flagship beer, a light, refreshing German-style wheat ale, was selling poorly.
The company aimed to address this by refocusing its brands for the audiences they best fit. Redhook and Kona work best targeting the "crossover" drinkers used to Budweiser, Miller Lite, Coors Light, or mixed drinks who are looking to venture into craft beer. Widmer works better targeting the more adventurous beer drinker.
Investors will want to stay tuned to hear how those strategies are working.
Can it fend off the megacrafts?
A-B InBev, meanwhile, acquired another craft brewer in New York's Blue Point Brewing. It took its Chicago brewer Goose Island national in 2013, and sales were up 70%. Not a bad start. But with A-B's clout with retailers, it's no surprise. You can bet it has similar planes for Blue Point.
Craft Brew will be competing directly with the megabrewer's crafty offerings. These beers -- with some exceptions -- are largely targeted at the same crossover drinker that Craft Brew targets.
What partnerships are next?