Goldman Sachs analyst Judy Hong is not feeling the love toward the craft beer market. She downgraded shares of Boston Beer (SAM) to sell, slashing her price target from $140 to $110, causing the stock to fall about 4% in early Monday trading.
She also downgraded shares of Constellation Brands (STZ) to neutral from conviction buy, but only lowered the price target to $210 from $212. Notably, that's still above Constellation's current price of about $196.50, as shares are down about 1% Monday.
Hong is a very smart analyst, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, said on CNBC's "Stop Trading" segment.
The U.S. beer market isn't growing and Hong forecasts volumes to dip slightly for 2017 to 2018. Cramer acknowledged that this appears to be true, as more than one company has seen weakness in the beer industry. He also acknowledged that Constellation Brands -- a longtime favorite company of his -- has not seen robust growth from its craft beer brand Ballast Point.
However, Cramer pointed out that Constellation Brands is a bit different, mostly in that it has a large exposure to Mexican beers like Corona, Modelo and Pacifico. For whatever reason, that's what the consumer wants and it's driving big growth at Constellation Brands.
Further, it's got tequila, high-end whiskey and wine. But that's where Hong comes in. She argues that a strengthening peso will hurt Constellation Brands.
So what should investors do? Cramer says, should a stronger peso dent the stock, investors may want to consider it a buying opportunity.
Every company has bumps and bruises, but betting against CEO Rob Sands & Company has been a big mistake, he concluded. Shares may be down Monday, but they're up more than 28% in 2017 and almost 600% over the past five years.
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