Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE:STZ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $172.00 target price on the stock.

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.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on STZ. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $200.00 price objective on shares of Constellation Brands in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Bank of America Corp. reissued a buy rating and issued a $195.00 price target on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Thursday, October 6th. Susquehanna reissued a hold rating on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Monday, August 8th. Morgan Stanley reissued a buy rating on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reissued a neutral rating and issued a $191.00 price target (up previously from $180.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Sunday, October 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $178.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ)

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) traded up 0.29% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $155.25. 348,167 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $31.22 billion, a PE ratio of 26.71 and a beta of 0.59. Constellation Brands has a 12 month low of $130.23 and a 12 month high of $173.55. The company has a 50-day moving average of $164.04 and a 200-day moving average of $162.18.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.65 by $0.12. Constellation Brands had a return on equity of 17.69% and a net margin of 15.64%. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.56 EPS. Constellation Brands’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Constellation Brands will post $6.44 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 8th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 4th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.03%. Constellation Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.49%.

In related news, VP Thomas J. Mullin sold 9,516 shares of the business’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 owns 88,602 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,745,144.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 10.63% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of STZ. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 period. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC increased 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 worth $107,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased 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 worth $115,000 after buying an additional 530 shares during the last quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. increased its position in Constellation Brands by 0.3% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 764 shares of the company’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 2 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TLP Group LLC acquired a new position in Constellation Brands during the third quarter worth approximately $129,000. Institutional investors own 75.01% of the company’s stock.

Constellation Brands Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:STZ

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