Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Thursday and lifted its full-year profit guidance while taking an $484 million loss from its holding in Canadian marijuana group Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) - Get Report . However, the CGC red ink outweighed STZ's good results and sent Constellation shares falling 6.1% to close at $194.26, trimming the stock's year-to-date gains to 20.7%.
Constellation said earnings for the three months ending in August, the group's fiscal second quarter, came in at $2.72 per share, down 5.22% from the same period last year but 10 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Excluding a 20 cents per share loss from its holding in Canopy Growth, the company said, comparable earnings were pegged at $2.92 per share. Group net sales, Constellation said, rose 2% from last year to $2.34 billion, a figure that was largely in-line with analysts' estimates.
Looking into its full fiscal year, which ends in March, Constellation said it sees comparable earnings in the range of $9.00 to $9.20 per share, well ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of $8.43 per share, up from its prior forecast of $8.65 and $8.95 per share
"The winning streak for our beer business continues with Modelo Especial generating the most growth in the entire U.S. beer category, while Corona remains the No. 1 high-end beer brand family," said CEO Bill Newlands. "This powerful combination gives us confidence in high single-digit beer growth for years to come. Our Wine & Spirits innovation pipeline is primed to launch impactful product introductions, as we head into the key selling season this fall."
Constellation also said it would take a $484.4 million share of the equity loss at Canopy Growth, a figure that falls to around $55 million on a comparable basis.
"Constellation has recognized a $757 million unrealized net gain in reported basis results since initial Canopy investment in November 2017; $839 million decrease in the fair value of Canopy investments was recognized for second quarter fiscal 2020," the company said.
Constellation, which makes Corona and Modelo branded beers, said lager sales would likely rise between 7% and 9% this fiscal year, confirming its previous forecasts, while noting that wine sales would likely decline between 15% and 20%.
Earlier this spring, Constellation said it would sell a portfolio of 30 lower-priced wine and spirit brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery for around $1.7 billion as it continues to shift towards higher-end labels and cannabis-infused products.
"This decision will help enhance organizational focus on a more premium set of wine and spirits brands that better position our company to drive accelerated growth and shareholder value," Newlands said at the time. "In turn, Gallo is acquiring a collection of great brands that complement their operational model and business strategy to provide quality products to consumers at every price point."