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Cramer developing taste for imported beer

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

There's something about imported beer that Jim Cramer just loves.

Oh, not like that. The "Mad Money" host is talking about the gains he believes Corona, Corona Light, Modelo and other imports could generate for shareholders of Constellation Brands.

Although Constellation has been importing these beers for quite some time, it had been through a joint venture with Grupo Modelo. "But the game-changed last year," Cramer said.


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As Anheuser-Busch Inbev acquired Grupo Modelo in 2013, the anti-trust division of the Justice Department wouldn't let the deal go through unless A-B Inbev agreed to sell the United States rights to several foreign brands, including the top-selling Corona.

Constellation Brands snapped up the unit for $4.75 billion and Cramer says the deal transformed Constellation's imported beer business in the U.S.

"It gave them total control over Modelo's brands in the United States, along with a state of the art brewery to make the stuff in Mexico, and most important, the freedom to develop brand extensions and innovations for the U.S. market."

And make no mistake, although Constellation also sells wine and hard liquor, Cramer believes the company's future growth lies squarely with beer.

In the most recent quarter, the Constellation's wine and spirits business generated organic sales growth of just one percent on a constant currency basis. However, the company's beer business popped 13 percent.

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Of all the opportunities generated by these developments, Cramer thinks few are more important than the ability to introduce Corona and Modelo as draft beers. "That was only made possible by the Grupo Modelo deal," Cramer said.

Although draft beer represents 2 percent of the company's current beer sales, management believes that number could jump to 10 percent, in part because it could give the company access to stadiums and arenas.

"You can't sell bottled beer at many sporting events," Cramer explained. "It has to be out of the tap because glass is dangerous. Just imagine how big this could be."

All told, Cramer sees enough opportunity in the beer business to drive Constellation broadly.

"The company's expected to earn $4.40 in the 2015 calendar year, which means the stock is trading at 19 times next year's numbers with a 15% long-term growth rate. That doesn't seem expensive to me at all. I think Constellation could easily sell for, say, 23.5 times next year's earnings, which would make this a $103 stock, up 20% from where it's currently trading. I think Constellation is a buy, especially into weakness."

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