Shares of Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) are screaming higher Thursday, hitting new all-time highs of $197.41 after the company beat on earnings per share estimates. The stock closed up 5.6% to $193.98, padding its year-to-date gains of 28%.
Constellation Brands earned $2.34 in the most recent quarter, topping analysts' estimates by 36 cents a share or nearly 20% -- talk about a strong result. On the other hand, Constellation only grew revenue by 3.7% year-over-year to $1.94 billion, which slightly missed analysts' estimates by $10 million. Investors are still shrugging off the top line results as the bottom line continues to bloom.
Didn't know the company would beat earnings? Almost no one ever does. But at least one person has been a consistent champion of Constellation Brands, that being TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer.
Cramer, the manager of the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, has been a long-time believer in the company and its management team. In early April, Cramer spoke with CEO Rob Sands on his CNBC "Mad Money" TV show. The next day he said investors could buy a half position in the stock and half after the company reports earnings.
His bullish call came despite the stock's spotty performance, thanks to worries over a border tax and Constellation Brand's large exposure to Mexican beers and tequilas. Constellation owns beer brands like Corona, Modelo and Pacifico, among others. For liquors, it owns brands such as Casa Noble tequila, SVEDKA vodka and High West whiskey, among others.
Since Cramer's call in April, shares are up more than 20%. Even earlier this month, Cramer said to go with Constellation Brands over Brown-Forman (BF.A) (BF.B) , a call that has now returned more than 6% in about three weeks.
Even back in October 2014, when investors were panicking over a Constellation Brands earnings report and concerns over a Corona recall, Cramer wasn't fazed. He said the long-term outlook was still promising and the beer industry wasn't experiencing weakness. Almost 125% later, it appears he was right about STZ stock.
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Editors' pick: Originally published June 29.