Samuel Adams Beer predicts strong 4th Quarter profits

The biggest craft brewer in the U.S., Boston Beer Co. (SAM) is expecting strong 4th quarter profits gains based on reports that continued declines in operating expenses per barrel and freight savings from cheaper oil. In the third quarter Boston Beer shipped 1.5 million barrels in the period ended Sept. 26. It reported earnings that increased 414% to 72 cents a share, blasting views by 33 cents. Sales rose 8% to $108.7 million as the brewer shipped 538,000 barrels of beer, up 7% from 2008. Gross margins hit 54%, up 10 basis points from a year ago. “People stopped going to restaurants and entertained more at home, the sales trends show us that consumers were willing to trade up for a better beer, and that created solid demand for craft brewers,” said CEO Martin Roper

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The company now expects a profit of $2.05 to $2.35 a share from a prior estimate of $1.75 to $2.05. Boston Beer reports fourth-quarter and full-year results on March 3. “We have raised our earnings projection based on achieving improved levels of brewery operating performance earlier than anticipated, together with continuing favorable energy and commodity costs and our expectations that these factors will continue for the remainder of the year,” Roper said in a statement.

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