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Coors Lights It Up

Shares rise after a strong quarter.

Molson Coors Brewing (TAP) - Get Molson Coors Brewing Company Class B (TAP) Report blew past fourth-quarter targets.

For the fourth quarter, the Coors Light brewer posted adjusted net income of $108.4 million, or $1.24 a share. That compares with pro forma income of $54 million, or 63 cents a share, last year. Analysts were looking for 94 cents a share in adjusted profit, according to Thomson First Call.

Sales for the quarter were $1.53 billion, up from $1.38 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts' consensus called for $1.42 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, Molson Golden maker had pro forma earnings were $369 million, or $4.26 a share, compared with $291.9 million, or $3.43 a share, in 2005. Net sales for the year reached $5.84 billion, up from $5.5 billion in the previous year.

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"We finished 2006 with even stronger brands, positive pricing, cost savings that exceeded our goals for the year, double-digit earnings growth and strong cash generation," CEO Leo Kiely said in a press release.

"Looking ahead, we feel good about the underlying strength of our company as we strive to make even more progress in 2007," Kiely added.

Molson shares rose $2.45, or 3%, to $84.92 in early trading Thursday.