Empire Life Investments Inc. increased its stake in Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) by 0.8% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 87,913 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 707 shares during the period. Constellation Brands accounts for 1.6% of Empire Life Investments Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 24th largest holding. Empire Life Investments Inc.’s holdings in Constellation Brands were worth $20,094,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of STZ. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Constellation Brands by 153.1% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 529 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after purchasing an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in Constellation Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $134,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Constellation Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $142,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in Constellation Brands in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $153,000. Finally, Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new position in Constellation Brands in the 4th quarter worth approximately $153,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.55% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on STZ shares. Macquarie boosted their price objective on shares of Constellation Brands from $246.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Constellation Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $249.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, December 18th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $226.00 target price on shares of Constellation Brands in a report on Sunday, November 12th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Constellation Brands from $211.00 to $226.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on shares of Constellation Brands from $235.00 to $260.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $237.77.
Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 5th. The company reported $2.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.87 billion. Constellation Brands had a net margin of 22.55% and a return on equity of 22.04%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.96 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Constellation Brands, Inc. will post 8.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, February 9th were paid a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 8th. Constellation Brands’s payout ratio is presently 11.30%.
Constellation Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Friday, January 5th that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Barry A. Fromberg sold 2,005 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.42, for a total value of $441,942.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,790 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,582,531.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 15.59% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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Constellation Brands Company Profile
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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