Shares of craft brewing pioneer Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE:SAM) surged 18.1% in June, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as investors continued to bet on a rebound for the business. The move continues a sharp recovery for the stock over the past year, but it may be a tenuous time for investors.
June's surge is really continuing a move that began after earnings were released in late April. Revenue for the first quarter was up 17% versus a year ago and depletions, which is an industry benchmark that measures consumer demand, was up 8%. The Samuel Adams brand is still struggling, but brands like Angry Orchard and Truly hard seltzer have driven growth in alternatives to beer.
Mid-month, shares got a nice encouragement when Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Pablo Zuanic raised his price target from $221 to $305 per share. He didn't upgrade his neutral rating on the stock, but it was a much more bullish stance than before the upgrade.
Boston Beer seems to be coming out of a slump that had depletions dropping for nine straight quarters, not the trend investors like to see. But momentum in alternatives to beer may be what it takes to turn this stock around.
My hesitation today is that shares trade at 37 times trailing earnings and the recent jump in value is based on drinks that may be a fad in the market. That's why I'm a little leery of the recent good news about operations, even if its the news investors needed to hear to push the stock higher.