Craft Brewers Rises Ahead of Earnings - TheStreet

WOODINVILLE, Wash. (

TheStreet

) -- Shares of

Craft Brewers Alliance

( HOOK) soared 11% Friday afternoon ahead of the little-known craft beer maker's quarterly earnings release.

Shares of Craft Brewers Alliance

hit a fresh 52-week high of $6.14 on Wednesday

at quadruple their trailing 30-day average volume. Volume was once again higher than normal Friday with nearly 60,000 shares in play and two hours left in the day's session. Average volume is just 52,000 shares.

Craft, a collection of regional breweries including Redhook, Widmer Brothers, Goose Island and Kona, has a market cap of $102 million, and does not draw enough analyst attention to merit consensus earnings estimates.

>>Craft Brewers Alliance Taps 52-Week High

A Craft representative told

TheStreet

the brewer would release its second-quarter results after the closing bell. In the second quarter of 2009, Craft booked profits of $1.7 million, or 10 cents per share, on revenue of $35.1 million, In the most recently reported quarter, ended March 31, Craft booked profits of $209 million, or a penny per share, on revenue of $27.5 million.

"There's no doubt the craft beer industry is a growing sector," said Scott Rothbort, president of Lakeview Asset Management and frequent contributor to

TheStreet

.

Industry titans

Anheuser-Busch Inbev

(BUD) - Get Report

,

SAB Miller

and

Molson Coors Brewing

(TAP) - Get Report

have

lost market share to smaller brewers

like those operated by Craft. During 2009, craft beer shipments increased 7.9%, up from the previous annual growth rate of 5.9%, pointing to an accelerating trend. As a percentage of total beer shipped, Craft crept up from 4% to 4.3% in 2009.

Craft announced last week that Kona Brewing, a craft brewer based in Hawaii, would become its wholly-owned subsidiary for the purchase price of $13.9 million.

>> Boston Beer: High Volume Movers

Anheuser-Busch owned 35.6% of Craft, according to an April 9 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, founders of Widmer Brothers beer, own a combined 18% of Craft shares.

-- Reported by Miriam Marcus Reimer from New York.

RELATED STORIES:

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>>Craft Brewers Alliance Taps 52-Week High

>>Boston Beer: High Volume Movers

>>Molson Coors Sees Earnings Spike

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