reported third-quarter earnings in line with analysts' expectations.
The St. Louis-based brewer reported third-quarter earnings of $514.5 million, or 56 cents a share, in line with the 18-analyst
First Call/Thomson Financial
consensus estimate. The company earned $461.5 million, or 49 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.
Gross sales, excluding excise taxes, rose to $3.94 billion from $3.77 billion. The company also said it expects earnings per share growth of about 15% for 2000 and added that "longer term, we are confident in our ability to consistently achieve our double-digit earnings per share growth objective with a 12% target for 2001."