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Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP - Analyst Report) reached a 52-week high of $49.05 on Mar 20 and eventually closed at $48.91. Shares of this global brewer have been riding high since it reported solid fourth quarter 2012 results. Moreover, the recent business process outsourcing ('BPO') deal between Molson Coors and IT company Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ - Analyst Report) might have triggered the share price of the former.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company beat its previous 52-week high of $47.39 achieved on Mar 8, recording a healthy return of 13.1% year-to-date. 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 1,581K.
Impressive Fourth Quarter Results
Molson Coors reported impressive fourth quarter results on Feb 14. The addition of StarBev 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.
Molson Coors has also been undertaking restructuring initiatives over the past few quarters in order to reduce overhead costs and boost profitability. Among other plans, Molson Coors seeks to improve efficiencies in finance, administration and human resources. Accordingly, Molson Coors sealed a BPO deal with H-P on Mar 11 as a step to streamline its business operations. The brewer’s selection of H-P’s services goes hand-in-hand with the company’s restructuring plans. The deal will also allow Molson Coors to spend less time on supervision and focus more on generating new business ideas.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Molson Coors, other stocks in the consumer staples sector that are worth considering are Kellogg Co. (K - Analyst Report) and Hillshire Brands Co. (HSH - Snapshot Report). Hillshire holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Kellogg carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).