Adolph Coors

(RKY)

blew the lid off of analysts' fourth-quarter earnings expectations, despite a modest increase in sales, triggering a rally in its share price.

The brewer had net income of $36.1 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with $20.2 million, or 55 cents a share, a year ago. The consensus forecast was for 68 cents a share. Net sales -- minus taxes on beer -- rose 4.3% to $1 billion from $981 million in the year-ago quarter.

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A 0.8% decline in U.S. net sales was more than offset by gains in Europe and Canada.

The Colorado-based company actually sold less beer in the quarter, but benefited from better pricing, improved margins and favorable exchange rates.

Shares rose $2.61, or 4.7%, to $58.53.