Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Constellation Brands has surpassed the broader industry year to date, backed by superb surprise history and constant brand-building efforts. The company has been gaining from its efforts to drive consumer demand for its robust brand portfolio. Also, focus on buyouts and continued strength in the beer business has been fuelling its results. Thanks to these endeavours, the company marked its 17th straight quarter of year-over-year earnings growth and 12th straight positive surprise in second-quarter fiscal 2018. The splendid results marked by significant market share gains, solid execution and strong free cash flow keeps management encouraged. Driven by these factors and confidence in its beer segment, management raised its earnings view for fiscal 2018 and operating income target for the beer segment. However, stiff competition and higher taxes remain concerns. Also, the company remains exposed to macroeconomic headwinds.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on STZ. Macquarie assumed coverage on Constellation Brands in a report on Thursday, September 14th. They issued an outperform rating and a $227.00 price target for the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an overweight rating and issued a $237.00 price target (up previously from $220.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Friday, October 6th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $200.00 price target on Constellation Brands and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on Constellation Brands from $222.00 to $226.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Constellation Brands from $216.00 to $235.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Constellation Brands presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $217.40.

Shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE STZ) opened at $222.75 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $43,035.49, a PE ratio of 26.67, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.08. Constellation Brands has a 52-week low of $144.00 and a 52-week high of $227.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 1.61.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 5th. The company reported $2.47 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. Constellation Brands had a return on equity of 22.81% and a net margin of 21.47%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.77 EPS. analysts expect that Constellation Brands will post 8.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 21st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 7th were paid a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, November 6th. Constellation Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 10.67%.

In other news, Director Barry A. Fromberg sold 2,500 shares of Constellation Brands stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $208.00, for a total value of $520,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Thomas J. Mullin sold 50,000 shares of Constellation Brands stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.45, for a total value of $10,472,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,662 shares of company stock worth $15,564,585 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 15.59% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wedbush Securities Inc. lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 12.9% during the 3rd quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,179 shares of the company’s stock worth $634,000 after acquiring an additional 362 shares in the last quarter. DSAM Partners London Ltd acquired a new position in Constellation Brands during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $21,659,000. Brighton Jones LLC acquired a new position in Constellation Brands during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $245,000. Cipher Capital LP acquired a new position in Constellation Brands during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $7,833,000. Finally, D L Carlson Investment Group Inc. lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 22.3% during the 2nd quarter. D L Carlson Investment Group Inc. now owns 27,410 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,310,000 after acquiring an additional 5,005 shares in the last quarter. 75.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Constellation Brands Company Profile

Constellation Brands, Inc is an international beverage alcohol company. The Company is a producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. 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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Analyst Recommendations for Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ)

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