Beer Sales Help Boost Constellation Brands Bottom (And Top) Line

Credit Constellation Brands

Victor-based Constellation Brands saw its shares rise in early trading Wednesday , after its newly gained Corona beer brand helped fuel profit last quarter.

Fourth-quarter net income almost doubled to $157.2 million, with net sales climbing 86 percent to $1.29 billion, the company said in a statement.

Excluding some items, the earnings amounted to 81 cents a share. That topped the 76-cent average estimate predicted by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Constellation bought Grupo Modelo’s U.S. beer business fromAnheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) last June for about $5.3 billion, gaining the rights to Corona and Modelo brands, as well as a brewery in Nava, Mexico. The deal helped the company’s beer division perform better than projected last quarter, Chief Executive Officer Rob Sands said in the statement. Constellation is working to expand the brewery in Mexico to keep up with supply, he said.

“Our beer business exceeded our expectations for the year, fueled by robust consumer demand,” he said.

Constellation expects earnings of $3.95 to $4.15 a share in fiscal 2015, which ends next February. Analysts estimated $3.96.