Shares of Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE:STZ) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The company traded as high as $209.12 and last traded at $209.06, with a volume of 3,453,940 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $201.18.

The company reported $2.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.30. Constellation Brands had a return on equity of 21.57% and a net margin of 19.94%. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.77 EPS. Constellation Brands’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

STZ has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Argus lifted their target price on Constellation Brands from $194.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $215.00 target price (up from $205.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $212.00 target price (up from $198.00) on shares of Constellation Brands in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Constellation Brands from $204.00 to $218.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $203.00 target price on Constellation Brands and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Constellation Brands presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $203.76.

In other news, Director Barry A. Fromberg sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.93, for a total transaction of $391,860.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 22,820 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,471,122.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas Michael Kane sold 4,940 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $193.28, for a total value of $954,803.20. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,914 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,722,897.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 84,291 shares of company stock valued at $16,438,975 in the last three months. 15.59% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STZ. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 8.6% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 467,139 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,709,000 after purchasing an additional 36,798 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 15.2% in the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 8,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,398,000 after purchasing an additional 1,137 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group bought a new stake in Constellation Brands in the first quarter valued at approximately $306,000. Blair William & Co. IL lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 36.4% in the first quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 11,343 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,805,000 after purchasing an additional 3,024 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ProVise Management Group LLC lifted its position in Constellation Brands by 2.3% in the first quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 4,526 shares of the company’s stock valued at $733,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.96% of the company’s stock.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $200.44 and its 200-day moving average is $186.43. The firm has a market cap of $40.78 billion, a PE ratio of 26.19 and a beta of 0.04. Constellation Brands also saw some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 8,867 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 667% compared to the typical volume of 1,156 put options.

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About Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands, Inc is an international beverage alcohol company. The Company is a producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. Its segments include Beer, Wine and Spirits, and Corporate Operations and Other. It is a multi-category supplier (beer, wine and spirits) of beverage alcohol in the United States.

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