Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Boston Beer surpassed the industry in the past three months driven by the progress on its three-point growth plan that focuses on cost-saving initiatives, long-term innovation and the revival of Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard brands. The company’s focus on pricing, product innovation, growth of non-beer categories and brand development are likely to boost operational performance and market position. Further, the robust shipments and depletions trend owing to strength in Twisted Tea, Truly Spiked & Sparkling, and Angry Orchard brands aided sales growth in second-quarter 2018. Based on favorable trends in the first-half, the company raised its depletions forecast for 2018. However, it reported earnings and sales miss in the second quarter owing to higher costs and soft gross margin, which is likely to persist in 2018. Therefore, it lowered the gross margin forecast for 2018. Further, softness in the Samuel Adams brand is a major headwind.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on SAM. Macquarie downgraded Boston Beer from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $225.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine upgraded Boston Beer from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $210.00 target price on shares of Boston Beer in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Cowen reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $350.00 target price on shares of Boston Beer in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their target price on Boston Beer to $260.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and thirteen have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $234.83.

Shares of Boston Beer stock traded up $4.00 during trading on Monday, reaching $315.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,115 shares, compared to its average volume of 101,512. Boston Beer has a 12-month low of $147.90 and a 12-month high of $329.95. The company has a market cap of $3.66 billion, a PE ratio of 52.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.72.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.98 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.77 by ($0.79). Boston Beer had a net margin of 10.39% and a return on equity of 17.21%. The business had revenue of $273.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $273.05 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.35 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Boston Beer will post 7.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Boston Beer by 4.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 942,356 shares of the company’s stock valued at $282,424,000 after acquiring an additional 38,908 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Boston Beer by 30,313.3% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 182,480 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,689,000 after acquiring an additional 181,880 shares in the last quarter. RK Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Boston Beer by 82.0% in the second quarter. RK Asset Management LLC now owns 106,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,377,000 after acquiring an additional 47,860 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Boston Beer by 175.3% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 74,761 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,409,000 after acquiring an additional 47,608 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BTIM Corp. lifted its position in shares of Boston Beer by 19.3% in the second quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 57,270 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,164,000 after acquiring an additional 9,285 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.34% of the company’s stock.

Boston Beer Company Profile

The Boston Beer Company, Inc produces and sells alcohol beverages primarily in the United States. The company's flagship beer is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It sells approximately 60 beers under the Samuel Adams brand names; 10 flavored malt beverages under the Twisted Tea brand name; 20 hard cider beverages under the Angry Orchard brand; 5 hard sparkling waters under the Truly Spiked & Sparkling brand name; and approximately 50 beers under 4 brand names.

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