Why Constellation Brands (STZ) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Constellation Brands  (STZ) are up 1.3% to $82.35 after the company reported that beer sales helped increase fiscal 2014 fourth quarter profit.

CEO Rob Sands said Constellation's purchase last year of Grupo Modelo's U.S. beer business from Anheuser-Bush InBev (BUD), which gave them rights to Corona and Modelo brands, helped the company's beer division perform better than projected last quarter,

The company's fourth-quarter net income nearly doubled to $157.2 million, with net sales surging 86% percent to $1.29 billion.

Excluding some items, the earnings were 81 cents a share. 

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In fiscal 2015, which ends next February, the company said it's is targeting mid-to-high single digit net sales growth for the beer segment.

In fiscal 2014, beer segment operating income totaled $773 million. That included 100% of Crown's operating income for the entire year and brewery profits since the date of acquisition in June 2013.

For fiscal 2015, the company expects beer segment operating income to grow in the low-to-mid 20% range. Excluding the anticipated brewery acquisition benefit, underlying operating income growth for the beer segment is expected to be in the 10%-12% range.

For the wine and spirits segment in fiscal 2015 the company expects net sales and operating income growth to be in the low-to-mid single digit range.

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