Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) reported fourth quarter 2019 earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday. Sales reached USD 1.8 Billion for the Corona maker, a 2% rise from the year prior. Wall Street forecasted sales of USD 1.74 Billion. The Company earned USD 1.84 per share, surpassing estimates of USD 1.71.
Constellation Brands reported net sales of USD 8.1 Billion for fiscal 2019, compared to USD 7.6 Billion last year. The Company said comparable earnings per share was USD 9.28. Excluding Canopy Growth equity earnings, Constellation Brands said it expects comparable earnings per share to range between USD 8.50 to USD 8.80 in fiscal 2020. Last year, Constellation Brands bought a 38% stake in the Canadian cannabis company.
The Company also declared a dividend of USD .75 per share of Class A common stock and USD .68 per share of Class B common stock, payable on May 24, 2019. “In fiscal 2020, we remain committed to increasing our quarterly dividend. Longer term, we expect powerful cash generation capability of our core business to enable significant cash returns to shareholders of USD 4.5 Billion in the form of share repurchases and dividends over the next three fiscal years” said David Klein, CFO.
Constellation Brands said it plans to transition away from wine as consumer taste continues to shift towards beer. Beer revenue is expected to grow between 7% and 9% during fiscal 2020. The Company will also sell about 30 of its low-end wine and spirits brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery in a USD 1.7 Billion deal. The deal mainly includes brands priced at or below USD 11.