Liberty Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) by 3.9% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 26,729 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 994 shares during the quarter. Constellation Brands accounts for about 3.1% of Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its biggest position. Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Constellation Brands were worth $5,814,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Pennsylvania Trust Co increased its stake in shares of Constellation Brands by 12.9% in the fourth quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 15,598 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,565,000 after purchasing an additional 1,784 shares during the period. KAMES CAPITAL plc boosted its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 3,223.4% in the fourth quarter. KAMES CAPITAL plc now owns 326,658 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,671,000 after acquiring an additional 316,829 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 14.0% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 5,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,191,000 after acquiring an additional 640 shares in the last quarter. Hutchens Investment Management Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Hutchens Investment Management Inc now owns 7,603 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,737,000 after acquiring an additional 378 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DnB Asset Management AS boosted its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 24,127 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,515,000 after acquiring an additional 2,200 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.96% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on STZ shares. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Constellation Brands from $218.00 to $245.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Macquarie increased their price objective on shares of Constellation Brands from $246.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Constellation Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $249.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, December 18th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $226.00 price objective on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Sunday, November 12th. Finally, Evercore ISI reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $235.00 price objective (up from $230.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Friday, October 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $229.00.

In related news, VP Thomas J. Mullin sold 18,227 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $217.01, for a total transaction of $3,955,441.27. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 72,924 shares in the company, valued at $15,825,237.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 15.59% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) traded down $1.53 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $217.52. 4,266,100 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,790,289. The company has a market capitalization of $42,660.00, a PE ratio of 26.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 0.08. Constellation Brands, Inc. has a 1 year low of $146.99 and a 1 year high of $229.50. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 5th. The company reported $2.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $1.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. Constellation Brands had a net margin of 22.55% and a return on equity of 22.04%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.96 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Constellation Brands, Inc. will post 8.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, February 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.52 per share. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.96%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 8th. Constellation Brands’s payout ratio is 11.30%.

Constellation Brands announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Friday, January 5th that allows the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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About Constellation Brands

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ)

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