Boston Beer (SAM) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

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.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Boston Beer to $275.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Citigroup set a $311.00 target price on Boston Beer and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Boston Beer from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. UBS Group started coverage on Boston Beer in a report on Thursday, December 13th. They issued a sell rating and a $228.00 target price for the company. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares reduced their target price on Boston Beer from $283.00 to $241.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $268.85.

SAM opened at $307.66 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $3.67 billion, a PE ratio of 41.19, a P/E/G ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 0.57. Boston Beer has a fifty-two week low of $178.35 and a fifty-two week high of $329.95.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $1.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $225.22 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $227.89 million. Boston Beer had a return on equity of 20.22% and a net margin of 9.12%. The company’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.57 EPS. On average, research analysts anticipate that Boston Beer will post 8.6 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP David L. Grinnell sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $320.00, for a total transaction of $160,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Quincy B. Troupe sold 4,940 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $304.88, for a total value of $1,506,107.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 19,539 shares of company stock valued at $5,954,745 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 29.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SAM. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Boston Beer during the fourth quarter worth $72,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in shares of Boston Beer by 19.8% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 351 shares of the company’s stock worth $85,000 after acquiring an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Boston Beer by 159.4% during the fourth quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 415 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,000 after acquiring an additional 255 shares in the last quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Boston Beer during the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its holdings in shares of Boston Beer by 12.0% during the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 577 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after acquiring an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.36% of the company’s stock.

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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