Constellation Brands raises profit forecast as beer sales rise

Alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting higher-than-expected quarterly sales and profit, helped by increased sales of its beer brands such as Corona and Modelo.

The company's shares rose nearly 4 percent to $107 in light premarket trading and were set to open at a record high.

Constellation's beer sales rose 16 percent in the third quarter as U.S. demand increased for premium and imported beers.

Corona Beer
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Constellation, whose brands include Robert Mondavi and Rex Goliath wines and Svedka vodka, said in October it was expanding capacity at its Nava brewery in Mexico.

Growth in Hispanic population in the United States has led to higher demand for beers imported from Mexico.

Victor, New York-based Constellation raised its adjusted profit forecast for the year ending Feb. 28 to $4.25-$4.35 per share from $4.10-$4.25 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting $4.24 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Constellation's net income rose to $222 million, or $1.10 per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 30 from $211 million, or $1.07 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.23 per share, higher than the average analyst estimate of $1.14.

Net sales increased 7 percent to $1.54 billion.