I'm not a wine expert, nor do I play one on TV, or the Internet, for that matter. In fact, when I'm not in northern Spain or central Italy -- where I do know a thing or two about picking out a bottle of vino -- I usually stock up on big jugs of table wine from Chile's biggest winemaker, Vina Concha y Toro
Never heard of it? It's been around more than 120 years. More and more of this firm's tasty and reasonable wines seem to be showing up at my local megastores, like Wal-Mart's
For Q1, revenues inched upward 3% to $54 million. The sharp appreciation of the Chilean currency meant a 6.5% drop in export revenues, but it was just more than offset by 65% growth in sales to the U.K. and a 59% increase in revenues from neighbor Argentina. Unfortunately, slipping gross margins and a significant increase in SG&A meant that earnings were down 9.3% per American Depository Receipt, to $0.37 per share.
That's not the greatest showing at a time when American wineries seem to be making a turnaround. There's plenty of cutthroat competition from the likes of Robert Mondavi
Concha y Toro has been a pretty solid performer, but frankly, the whole wine industry seems to be lagging the economic turnaround shown by many other sectors and companies. None of the stocks strikes my fancy. Fortunately, it's possible to be a fan of the product without buying the firm.
Join the Fool's wine enthusiasts in The Wine Cellar discussion board.