Constellation Brands (STZ) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Constellation Brands surpassed the industry year to date, courtesy of its solid earnings trend, which continued in second-quarter fiscal 2019. Earnings reverted to its 14 quarter long record of positive surprises, after a miss in the previous quarter. Additionally, sales outpaced estimates in 10 out of the last 12 quarters. Higher sales at the beer, and wine and spirits segments as well as strong depletions and shipment volumes in the beer business aided results. Its constant brand-building efforts, acquisitions, investments in digital enablement for e-commerce initiatives and the new ERP platform are added positives. Moreover, management’s raised earnings outlook for fiscal 2019 drives optimism. However, higher marketing expenses and transportation costs have been denting operating margin, which remains a threat to profitability. Stiff competition, higher debt position and taxes are other concerns.”

Several other research firms have also commented on STZ. Jefferies Financial Group restated a buy rating and set a $289.00 price target on shares of Constellation Brands in a research report on Wednesday, October 17th. Morgan Stanley set a $259.00 price target on Constellation Brands and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Citigroup raised their price target on Constellation Brands from $235.00 to $240.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine upgraded Constellation Brands from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 12th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their target price on Constellation Brands from $235.00 to $240.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Constellation Brands presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $244.27.

Shares of STZ traded down $2.11 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $188.61. 1,405,308 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,802,318. Constellation Brands has a 52-week low of $187.34 and a 52-week high of $236.62. The firm has a market cap of $36.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.63, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 1.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 4th. The company reported $2.87 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.60 by $0.27. Constellation Brands had a return on equity of 18.63% and a net margin of 38.18%. The business had revenue of $2.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.25 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.47 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Constellation Brands will post 9.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 6th were paid a $0.74 dividend. This represents a $2.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, November 5th. Constellation Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.94%.

In other Constellation Brands news, Chairman Richard Sands sold 148,773 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $223.69, for a total value of $33,279,032.37. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 346,525 shares in the company, valued at $77,514,177.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Thomas Michael Kane sold 4,419 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $223.83, for a total value of $989,104.77. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,499 shares in the company, valued at $1,902,331.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 578,723 shares of company stock worth $129,438,449. 15.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Independent Advisor Alliance increased its position in shares of Constellation Brands by 14.1% during the third quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 14,787 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,322,000 after purchasing an additional 1,825 shares in the last quarter. New England Research & Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Constellation Brands during the third quarter worth about $634,000. River Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Constellation Brands by 14.7% during the third quarter. River Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 9,316 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,009,000 after purchasing an additional 1,197 shares in the last quarter. Braun Stacey Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Constellation Brands by 1.5% during the third quarter. Braun Stacey Associates Inc. now owns 73,650 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,880,000 after purchasing an additional 1,115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ardevora Asset Management LLP increased its position in shares of Constellation Brands by 8.4% during the third quarter. Ardevora Asset Management LLP now owns 129,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,937,000 after purchasing an additional 10,050 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.83% of the company’s stock.

Constellation Brands Company Profile

Constellation Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, produces, imports, and markets beer, wine, and spirits in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. The company sells wine across various categories, including table wine, sparkling wine, and dessert wine. It provides beer primarily under the Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Modelo Chelada, Pacifico, and Victoria brands, as well as Funky Buddha, Obregon Brewery, and Ballast Point brands.

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