Whiskey has always held a special place in the American culture and history. Barring a few hiccups, it has always been in vogue with spirit enthusiasts and casual drinkers all over the world. Cheerfully the tradition continues, as evidenced from the strength in the U.S. Alcohol market that has been on an expansion spree due to the rising demand and improving consumer spending.
In fact, Americans are availing jobs in the craft-booze industry, consequently aiding stability in the labor market. Among the host of American spirts, craft beer seems to be the cynosure of all eyes at the moment with its fervent fan base and convenient size production.
Per BMI Research, global spirits sales are expected to increase by 4.3% in 2018.
Notably, the Beverages-Alcohol industry lies at the top 38% (96 of 256) of all Zacks industries.
With that said, here are two alcohol stocks that are scoring high on the growing spirits and industry trends. Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE:SAM) and Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) hit 52-week high on Apr 17 driven by their robust strategies and stellar past performance.
Let’s explore the stocks individually.
Three-Point Growth Plan Aiding SAM
Shares of Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE:SAM) scaled a 52-week high of $223.50 yesterday, closing the session lower at $222.05. Further, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock surged a whopping 57.4% in a year, cruising well ahead of its industry’s 12% upside.
Management remains committed to the three-point growth plan focused on the revival of its Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard brands, cost-saving initiatives and long-term innovation.
Additionally, the leading craft brewer in the United States is making strides to address challenges through improved cost structure and re-investing these savings for brand development.
Though depletions continued to be soft in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company’s quarterly depletion trends have been improving since the first quarter of 2017. Additionally, we are encouraged by a strong start in 2018.
Notably, depletions for the year-to-date period through the six-week period ended Feb 10, 2018, are estimated to have grown nearly 6% from the comparable year-ago period. For 2018, depletions and shipments are likely to range from flat to up 6%.
Also, Boston Beer remains optimistic about the future of craft beer and cider categories.
A look upon the company’s earnings surprise history shows that it has outpaced estimates in four of the trailing five quarters. It delivered an impressive average earnings beat of 48.9% in the last four quarters.
Strength in Beer Business Driving STZ
Shares of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) also touched a 52-week high of $233.19 yesterday, though it closed a tad lower at $231.40. In a year’s time, the Zacks Rank #3 stock advanced 34.6% outperforming its industry’s growth of 12%.
Constant brand-building efforts, acquisitions and strength in its beer business have been the key growth drivers for the world’s leading wine company.
Armed with a robust brand portfolio, Constellation Brands has a record of 18 straight quarters of year-over-year earnings growth with 13 consecutive positive surprises.
While softness in wine & spirits business linger, the company remains focused on expanding in the craft beer space, which has become a solid growth avenue in the beer space.
In the beer segment, the company’s expansion plans are anchored by the acquisition of the Funky Buddha Brewery, a leading craft brewery in Florida; the introduction of Fathom IPA by Ballast Point Brewery; the Obregon Brewery acquisition, which will bolster its high-end Mexican beer portfolio and more.
We expect these stocks to continue soaring high, creating new records given their solid strategic actions, expansion in the craft beer space and impressive long-term earnings growth rates. Boston Beer boasts an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.5%, while that of Constellation Brands is 18.4%.
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