Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Molson Coors Brewing (TAP) to Hold

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Molson Coors has been gaining from its focus on above-premium brands, which now form nearly 20% of its total annual brand volumes. Also, the company is making efforts to gain share in the U.S. premium light segment through Coors Light and Miller Lite brands. These factors, focus on cost savings, better pricing and royalty volumes drove results in fourth-quarter 2017. Both the top and bottom line beat estimates and retained the solid year-on-year growth trend, helping the company surpass the industry in the past three months. However, U.S. volumes continued to be soft, with weakness across STRs and STWs due to industry woes. This, along with input cost inflation raises concerns. Nonetheless, Molson Coors’ raised cost savings target, expected gains from tax reforms, focus on First Choice and efforts to strengthen balance sheet bode well. In 2017, the company reduced debt by more than $600 million and also exceeded its free cash flow goal.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Molson Coors Brewing in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a “buy” rating and a $89.00 price objective for the company. Barclays initiated coverage on Molson Coors Brewing in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $94.00 price objective for the company. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Molson Coors Brewing in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $116.00 price objective on shares of Molson Coors Brewing in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley started coverage on Molson Coors Brewing in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $88.00 price objective for the company. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $96.88.

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP) traded up $0.02 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $79.77. The company had a trading volume of 663,413 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,489,080. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a current ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $18,350.00, a P/E ratio of 17.68, a PEG ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.79. Molson Coors Brewing has a fifty-two week low of $72.71 and a fifty-two week high of $101.18.

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $2.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.60 billion. Molson Coors Brewing had a return on equity of 7.55% and a net margin of 10.34%. Molson Coors Brewing’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Molson Coors Brewing will post 5.12 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CFO Tracey Joubert sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.15, for a total transaction of $79,150.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,839 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,807,706.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Peter H. Coors sold 55,603 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.01, for a total value of $4,726,811.03. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 319,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,137,062.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Molson Coors Brewing by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,435,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $938,480,000 after buying an additional 380,133 shares during the last quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP lifted its position in shares of Molson Coors Brewing by 41.3% in the fourth quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 8,707,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $714,628,000 after buying an additional 2,546,533 shares during the last quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Molson Coors Brewing by 65.2% in the fourth quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 3,727,466 shares of the company’s stock valued at $305,913,000 after buying an additional 1,471,573 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Molson Coors Brewing by 12.9% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,595,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $295,074,000 after buying an additional 410,058 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Molson Coors Brewing by 852.1% in the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,428,882 shares of the company’s stock valued at $198,294,000 after buying an additional 2,173,761 shares during the last quarter. 77.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Molson Coors Brewing Company Profile

Molson Coors Brewing Company (MCBC) is a holding company. The Company operates as a brewer. The Company’s segments include MillerCoors LLC (United States segment), operating in the United States; Molson Coors Canada (Canada segment), operating in Canada; Molson Coors Europe (Europe segment), operating in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, the United Kingdom and various other European countries; Molson Coors International (Molson Coors International segment), operating in various other countries, and Corporate.

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