It certainly helped that after rallying 26% in the weeks following Boston Beer's strong first-quarter report in late April, shares pulled back hard from those highs along with the broader markets in May. This occurred despite a tailwind provided by the United States' decision to lift controversial tariffs on aluminum and steel imported from Mexico and Canada.
At the same time, uncertainty surrounding tariffs on imported Chinese aluminum had served as a cost headwind to the brewing industry, though the effect has been more pronounced for industry juggernauts like A-B InBev and SABMiller, and less so for Boston Beer, which long favored glass bottles and only began shipping its wares on a limited basis in specially designed cans starting in 2013.
Nonetheless, as the U.S.-China trade war cooled and the markets rebounded last month -- including a 7% gain from the S&P 500 -- it was no surprise to see Boston Beer move even higher in the process.
That's not to say there was a complete lack of company-specific news in June, but it wasn't overwhelmingly positive. On June 10, Credit Suisse analyst Kaumil Gajrwala initiated coverage on Boston Beer with a neutral rating and $320-per-share price target, or almost exactly where shares traded at the time. To justify the firm's relative indifference with the stock already up around 36% year to date, Gajrwala pointed to concerns over Boston Beer's valuation and "instability" in the broader beer market.
Barring a preliminary update between now and Boston Beer's second-quarter results later this month, investors will need to wait for a refresher on the state of its business. But with the stock trading near a fresh all-time high right now, I think shareholders are right to raise their glasses to Boston Beer's performance last month.