Constellation Brands raises forecast and takes further Canopy impairment charges

Constellation Brands issued a press release on its third quarter earnings before the opening bell with the following highlights.

  • Generates reported basis EPS of $1.85 and comparable basis EPS of $2.14, including Canopy Growth equity losses of $0.25; excluding Canopy Growth equity losses, achieved comparable basis EPS of $2.39
  • Generates $2.1 billion of operating cash flow and $1.5 billion of free cash flow, an increase of 5% and 14%, respectively
  • Increases fiscal 2020 reported basis EPS outlook to $0.95 – $1.05; increases comparable basis EPS outlook to $9.45 – $9.55
  • Increases fiscal 2020 operating cash flow target to approximately $2.3 billion and free cash flow projection to $1.5 – $1.6 billion
  • Agrees to revise original Wine & Spirits agreement with Gallo in connection with Federal Trade Commission review; expected to close by the end of fiscal 2020
  • In a separate, but related, transaction, agrees to divest Nobilo Wine brand to Gallo for $130 million; expected to close in first half fiscal 2021
  • Signs agreement with Kings & Convicts Brewing to divest the Ballast Point brand and certain related facilities; expected to close by the end of fiscal 2020
  • Promotes Garth Hankinson to Constellation’s CFO replacing David Klein who will assume the Canopy Growth CEO role

Volume, net sales, operating income and margins for wines and spirits (W&S) was down YoY for the quarter.

 Vol (%)Sales (%)Income (%)
Figures for the trailing twelve months (TTM) for shipment volume, net sales, operating income and operating margin.

The poor performance in terms of EPS was attributable to further impairment losses of $534 million related to Canopy Growth.


Given the headwinds caused by Canopy Growth it might be a while before Constellation Brands once more trades at its all time high of $234.22 from April 2018 despite some of the best operating margins in the industry.

Time series of enterprise value relative to EBITDA for selected breweries.
Operating margin time series for selected breweries.
Revenue time series for selected breweries.

Reuters – Constellation raises profit forecast after beer-driven quarter

Bloomberg – Constellation Brands Jumps After Boosting Profit Forecast


Constellation Brands takes a hit from Canopy Growth

Constellations Brands issued a press release on its quarterly results before markets opened.

Canopy equity loss

All segments performed well in terms of both shipment volume, revenue and profit.

But due to continued Canopy equity losses Constellation Brands yet again reported negative earnings for the quarter. The announcement of a positively revised outlook in terms of operating earnings was overshadowed by this.

Constellation’s share of Canopy Growth’s equity losses and related activities for second quarter fiscal 2020 totaled a loss of $484.4 million, including the impact from the June 2019 warrant modification, on a reported basis and a loss of $54.7 million on a comparable basis. Constellation has recognized a $757 million unrealized net gain in reported basis results since initial Canopy investment in November 2017; $839 million decrease in the fair value of Canopy investments was recognized for second quarter fiscal 2020.


At a forward P/E just above 20 it is not particularly attractively priced. Like distillers Brown Forman [BF-B] and Diageo [DEO] it is somewhat overpriced. An alternative investment could be AB InBev [BUD], which is somewhat more attractively valued compared to smaller brewery rivals Heineken [HEAIS.AS], Carlsberg [CARL-B.CO], Molson Coors [TAP], The Boston Beer Company [SAM] and Constellation Brands. AB InBev just like Constellation Brands have better operating margins than most competitors.

Wineries & Distilleries
Wineries & Distilleries


Nightly Business Report – October 3, 2019

Reuters – Corona maker Constellation hit by pot investment loss; shares drop