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Shares of Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ - Analyst Report) touched a new 52-week high of $58.71 on Sep 13, and eventually closed trade at $58.70. The stock has been performing well on the back of brand building and inorganic growth initiatives. This specialty retailer has amassed a year-to-date return of 56.3%.

The average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 1,667.3K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 20.50x, a 6.2% discount to the peer group average of 21.86x. The last traded price is 7.4% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $63.40. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated earnings per share (EPS) growth rate is 14.4%. Constellation Brands now carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Constellation Brands’ sustained focus on brand building and its initiatives to introduce new products in the wine and spirits business are the major factors that drove the stock’s price appreciation. Owing to its strategic endeavors, the company is witnessing strong depletion trends and increasing market share in the U.S. wine and spirits category. Moreover, Constellation Brands is enhancing its points of distribution in retail and is effectively executing strategic merchandising initiatives to boost sales.

The company’s strategic initiatives to strengthen its foothold in the U.S. wine industry and efforts to increase its portfolio of brands are stimulating growth. This is well evident from the company’s recent acquisition of Grupo Modelo SAB de C.V.’s U.S. beer business from Anheuser-Busch InBev. Considering the positive impact from the recent acquisition of Grupo Modelo, management raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2014 to $2.60–$2.90 per share from $2.55–$2.85 projected earlier. Going forward, the company aims to enhance the distribution of the brand in order to drive incremental profits.

Apart from Constellation Brands, other stocks such as Hillenbrand, Inc. (HI), Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY - Analyst Report) and Cummins Inc. (CMI - Analyst Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $27.22, $38.56 and $134.29, respectively.

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