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Market Preview: Right Said Fed

As for the rest of Wednesday's scheduled news, Boston Beer (SAM - Get Report) is reporting its second-quarter results, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of $1.28 a share in the June-ended period on revenue of $152.5 million.

This should be an interesting report for the maker of Samuel Adams as there's been some confusion in the market about how the company's new cider brand Angry Orchard is doing.

UBS, which has a sell rating and a $103 price target on the stock, shed some light on the issue on Monday.

"We believe a misclassification in Nielsen is understating actual retail sales," the firm explained. "Specifically, Angry Orchard sales are being captured under the retired Hardcore Cider brand. As such, we discovered that Angry Orchard's impact is greater than expected. In the last 4 wks, Angry Orchard distribution in Nielsen AOC is now estimated at 21% (from 9%) and represents 7% of SAM's portfolio (from 1%). Incremental sales could represent a 3% tailwind to topline in 2012."

This development prompted UBS to lift its below-consensus estimate for the second quarter to earnings of $1.19 a share from $1.16 a share and its volume view to 12% growth from 11% with Angry Orchard seen offsetting some of the impact of slowing demand for the company's Twisted Tea brand. The firm is still skeptical about Boston Beer though because of its valuation and perceived softness in business trends.

"Our call on Boston Beer is predicated on the core slowing, exposed by the slowing growth of Twisted Tea," the firm said. "The early success of Angry Orchard offsets some of the near term effects of Twisted Tea slowing, but doesn't change the overall thesis. We anticipate more dramatic slowing in the fall. At 25-times our 2013 EPS, we see downside if future innovations cannot sustain double-digit topline."

Boston Beer shares closed Tuesday at $107.72, down 2.5% for the day but still up 1.7% so far in 2012. The stock has gained nearly 25% in the past 52 weeks, hitting a high of $128.07 on July 5. The sell side is mostly bearish with 4 of the 6 analysts covering the shares at either hold (3) or underperform (1) and the 12-month median price target at a modest $104.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Boston Beer for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.
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