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

According to Zacks, “Constellation Brands boasts a portfolio of well-known brands and is the largest wine company in the world, which gives it a competitive edge and bolsters its solid market position. The company’s focus on brand building and efforts to include new products in its wine and spirits portfolio are key growth drivers. Also, it remains committed to expanding operations directed toward achieving business growth, as is evident from its numerous acquisitions. These factors, coupled with strong beer business also helped the company to post its eighth and sixth straight earnings and sales beat, respectively in the last reported quarter. The company also raised its fiscal 2017 view, highlighting its solid prospects. However, the risk of increasing taxes continues to be a concern for the company. Intense competition, currency fluctuations and seasonal nature of the company’s business can also dent its operating performance.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on STZ. Pivotal Research restated a buy rating and set a $200.00 target price on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Citigroup Inc. restated a neutral rating and set a $191.00 target price (up previously from $180.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Sunday, October 9th. Morgan Stanley restated an overweight rating and set a $194.00 target price (up previously from $191.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Saturday, October 8th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $181.00 price target on shares of Constellation Brands in a research report on Wednesday, October 5th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Constellation Brands in a research report on Thursday, September 15th. They set a neutral rating and a $178.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $178.25.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) traded up 0.49% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $154.09. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 843,823 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $164.33 and its 200 day moving average is $162.23. The stock has a market cap of $30.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.51 and a beta of 0.59. Constellation Brands has a 12-month low of $130.23 and a 12-month high of $173.55.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.12. The firm earned $2.02 billion during the quarter. Constellation Brands had a return on equity of 17.69% and a net margin of 15.64%. Constellation Brands’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.56 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Constellation Brands will post $6.44 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 8th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 4th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. Constellation Brands’s payout ratio is 27.49%.

In other news, VP Thomas J. Mullin sold 9,516 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.42, for a total value of $1,583,652.72. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 88,602 shares in the company, valued at $14,745,144.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 10.63% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its position in Constellation Brands by 2.1% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 678 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC raised its position in Constellation Brands by 13.2% in the third quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG acquired a new position in Constellation Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $110,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its position in Constellation Brands by 331.3% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 690 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 530 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hanson McClain Inc. raised its position in Constellation Brands by 0.3% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 764 shares of the company’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 2 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.01% of the company’s stock.

About Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands, Inc is an international beverage alcohol company. The Company is a producer and marketer of beer and wine the United States and Canada. Its segments include Beer, Wine and Spirits, and Corporate Operations and Other. It is a multi-category supplier (beer, wine and spirits) of beverage alcohol in the United States.

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