Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Boston Beer Co. (NYSE:SAM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Boston Beer is facing a tough time due to troubles at its Samuel Adams brand, which has been up against severe competition in the craft beer market, and a weakness in the cider class. This resulted in soft depletion trends and lower shipments in  second-quarter fiscal 2016. Taking into account the first-half trends, the company lowered its earnings and depletions outlook for 2016. Also, Boston Beer remains vulnerable to the potential implementation of an excise tax on spirits. However, we believe Boston Beer’s practice of acquiring assets to expand geographically will help it to gain significant market share. Also, the company’s brand-building efforts and initiatives to add new products to its portfolio remain key revenue drivers. Management’s plan of aligning cost structure with volumes should also enhance performance. Estimates have been largely stable going into the third quarter earnings release.”

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on SAM. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $151.00 target price (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Boston Beer in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Susquehanna reissued a hold rating on shares of Boston Beer in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. Cowen and Company lowered shares of Boston Beer from a market perform rating to an underperform rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $170.00 to $128.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of Boston Beer in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. They set an underperform rating and a $156.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, William Blair assumed coverage on shares of Boston Beer in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. They set an outperform rating on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Boston Beer currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $174.55.

Analyst Recommendations for Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM)

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) traded down 0.187% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $162.495. 57,499 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $166.72 and a 200-day moving average of $168.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.333 and a beta of 0.64. Boston Beer has a 12 month low of $145.33 and a 12 month high of $260.51.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.94 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $244.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $238.87 million. Boston Beer had a net margin of 9.22% and a return on equity of 19.60%. Analysts forecast that Boston Beer will post $6.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, major shareholder Tybourne Capital Management Hk sold 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $186.33, for a total value of $111,798.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP David L. Grinnell sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $164.81, for a total transaction of $164,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 31.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in Boston Beer by 7.6% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Boston Beer during the second quarter valued at $199,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its stake in Boston Beer by 12.9% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 1,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,000 after buying an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Diversified Trust Co purchased a new stake in Boston Beer during the second quarter valued at $218,000. Finally, Pacad Investment Ltd. purchased a new stake in Boston Beer during the second quarter valued at $222,000. 65.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Boston Beer

The Boston Beer Company, Inc (Boston Beer) is a craft brewer in the United States. The Company is engaged in the business of producing and selling alcohol beverages primarily in the domestic market and in international markets. The Company operates through two segments: Boston Beer Company segment and A&S Brewing Collaborative segment.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SAM

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