Zacks Investment Research Lowers Boston Beer (SAM) to Hold

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Boston Beer outperformed the industry in the past three months driven by a robust surprise history, which continued in fourth-quarter 2018. With this, the company has delivered earnings beat in seven of the trailing nine quarters, with positive sales surprise in five of the last seven quarters. Top line gains from persistent momentum in shipment volumes and depletions, which is likely to continue in 2019. Its focus on the three-point growth plan, including cost savings, long-term innovation and the revival of Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard brands, also bodes well. Further, management’s encouraging guidance for the year drives optimism. However, persistent softness in the Samuel Adams brand is a major headwind. The company has also been witnessing higher packaging and transportation costs that are denting gross margin. Further, it expects higher spending due to brand innovations and marketing strategies, which might hurt profitability.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and set a $308.00 price target on shares of Boston Beer in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Citigroup set a $311.00 price target on Boston Beer and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 26th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Boston Beer to $275.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Macquarie upgraded Boston Beer from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and increased their price target for the stock from $260.00 to $275.00 in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares dropped their price target on Boston Beer from $283.00 to $241.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $268.85.

Shares of NYSE SAM opened at $307.66 on Tuesday. Boston Beer has a 52-week low of $178.35 and a 52-week high of $329.95. The company has a market cap of $3.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.19, a PEG ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 0.57.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $1.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.09. Boston Beer had a return on equity of 20.22% and a net margin of 9.12%. The firm had revenue of $225.22 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $227.89 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.57 earnings per share. Boston Beer’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Boston Beer will post 8.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider David A. Burwick sold 291 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $235.14, for a total value of $68,425.74. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CAO Matthew Donal Murphy sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $305.72, for a total value of $1,834,320.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 19,539 shares of company stock worth $5,954,745 over the last quarter. Insiders own 29.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in Boston Beer in the 4th quarter worth approximately $72,000. Bank of Montreal Can grew its holdings in Boston Beer by 19.8% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 351 shares of the company’s stock worth $85,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Boston Beer by 159.4% in the 4th quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 415 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,000 after buying an additional 255 shares in the last quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. bought a new position in Boston Beer in the 4th quarter worth approximately $120,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc grew its holdings in Boston Beer by 12.0% in the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 577 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. 74.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Boston Beer

The Boston Beer Company, Inc produces and sells alcohol beverages primarily in the United States. The company's flagship beer is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It sells approximately 60 beers under the Samuel Adams brand names; 10 flavored malt beverages under the Twisted Tea brand name; 20 hard cider beverages under the Angry Orchard brand; 5 hard sparkling waters under the Truly Spiked & Sparkling brand name; and approximately 50 beers under 4 brand names.

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