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Constellation Brands 4Q Net Down 63%; FY View Weak

Wall Street Journal - Apr 5, 2012

Constellation Brands Inc.'s (STZ) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings slumped 63% as net sales dropped due to the absence of a divested business and because the prior year had a larger income-tax benefit.

Though the quarter's adjusted profit easily topped Wall Street's expectations due to a better-than-anticipated tax rate in the latest quarter, Constellation's shares slumped 11% to $21.94 in recent trading as the maker of Robert Mondavi and Ravenswood wines issued a weak outlook for the new fiscal year. The stock was the worst performer in the S&P 500 on Thursday.

Constellation projected adjusted earnings for the year would range between $1.93 to $2.03 a share, well below the $2.23 a share estimate by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. President and Chief Executive Rob Sands said earnings for the year would be tempered by brand building and sales investments.

After several years of acquisition-fueled growth, Constellation, which also counts Svedka vodka among its brands, divested some business segments that haven't performed as well as the company originally expected. Constellation has spent more in recent months on incentives and price promotions to drive sales.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2012-04-05 10:54:21

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