Constellation Brands Profit Falls, Cuts 2007 Outlook

Constellation Brands, the world's largest wine maker by volume, said its quarterly profit fell 1.1% and lowered its fiscal 2007 outlook citing tough competition in the U.K.

Net income in the quarter ended Nov. 30 fell to $107.8 million, or 45 cents a share, from $109 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 18.4% to $1.5 billion, boosted by the acquisition last June of Canadian wine maker Vincor International.

Excluding the effects of the acquisition, Constellation said its earnings rose to $139 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $109 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting the company, which owns Robert Mondavi wine and distributes Corona beer, to earn 60 cents a share, according to Thomson.

Constellation reduced its earnings forecast to a range of $1.65 to $1.70 a share from an earlier forecast of $1.72 to $1.76 a share in fiscal 2007, which ends in February.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.75 a shares in fiscal 2007.

The company previously lowered its full-year forecast in late October, also citing competition in the U.K. market.