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Shares of global brewer Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP - Analyst Report) recently hit a 52-week high of $47.39 on Mar 8, on the back of solid fourth-quarter 2012 results announced on Feb 14. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company beat its previous 52-week high of $46.50 achieved on Feb 22, and has generated an impressive return of approximately 9.6% since Dec 31, 2012. The company’s long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 5.40%. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months came in at approximately 1,596K.

Impressive Fourth Quarter Results

Molson Coors reported impressive fourth-quarter results beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings, while lagging that for sales. In fact, Molson Coors has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last five quarters, with an average surprise of 14.2%.

The addition of the Central European operations in the reported results boosted net sales growth by 9.9% to $1.03 billion in the quarter. Increased worldwide beer volume and foreign exchange also impacted the quarter favorably.

We believe that the company’s acquisition of the StarBev business in Jun 2012 significantly enhanced the company’s portfolio of premium brands. It has also created opportunities for the company in Central Europe to extend its key brands, taking advantage of the attractive beer market.

We are encouraged by the company’s strong brand portfolio. In addition, Molson Coors continues to focus on its strategy of maximizing profitable growth opportunities in the core markets and expanding into new and emerging markets. The company is also undertaking restructuring initiatives to reduce overhead costs and boost profitability.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Molson Coors, other stocks in the consumer staples sector that are worth considering are Tyson Foods Inc (TSN - Analyst Report), Kellogg Co. (K - Analyst Report) and Hillshire Brands Co. . Hillshire holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Kellogg and Tyson carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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