Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday morning. The firm currently has $249.00 target price on the stock.

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.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Pivotal Research increased their price objective on shares of Constellation Brands from $250.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Susquehanna Bancshares reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $193.00 price objective (up previously from $169.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Macquarie assumed coverage on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Thursday, September 14th. They issued an outperform rating and a $227.00 price objective for the company. SunTrust Banks reiterated a buy rating and issued a $230.00 price objective on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Cowen reissued an outperform rating and issued a $243.00 price target (up previously from $230.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Friday, October 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $218.90.

Constellation Brands (NYSE STZ) opened at $223.51 on Monday. Constellation Brands has a 1 year low of $144.00 and a 1 year 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. The firm has a market cap of $43,665.35, a PE ratio of 27.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 0.08.

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

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

In other news, Director Barry A. Fromberg sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $208.00, for a total value of $520,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider William A. Newlands sold 2,935 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.10, for a total transaction of $616,643.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,662 shares of company stock valued at $15,564,585 in the last three months. 15.59% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in STZ. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 4,909.6% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,134,716 shares of the company’s stock valued at $219,829,000 after purchasing an additional 1,112,065 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 488.5% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,192,858 shares of the company’s stock valued at $231,093,000 after purchasing an additional 990,152 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Constellation Brands by 87.9% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,681,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $325,751,000 after purchasing an additional 786,726 shares in the last quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Constellation Brands in the 2nd quarter valued at $135,760,000. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC raised its stake in Constellation Brands by 2,217.6% during the 2nd quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 720,771 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,635,000 after acquiring an additional 689,671 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.86% of the company’s stock.

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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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Analyst Recommendations for Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ)

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