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Boston Beer Q4 Profit Rises On Higher Shipments, Tax Settlement - Update

Alcohol beverages maker Boston Beer Co. Inc. (SAM) on Wednesday reported a 46 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year.

The results reflect increased core shipment volume and the favorable impact of a state income tax settlement. Both earnings per share and revenue topped analysts' expectations. Core shipment volume increased 19 percent from the year-ago period to about 671,000 barrels.

Total company depletions grew 4 percent, primarily due to increases in Twisted Tea and Samuel Adams Seasonals. These were partially offset by declines in Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light and Samuel Adams Brewmaster's Collection.

Martin Roper, President and CEO of Boston Beer, said, "Shipments in the fourth quarter were higher due to the extra shipping week in the fiscal quarter versus last year, and the earlier shipment of our Samuel Adams Spring Seasonal relative to last year, as we accomplished a conversion from our Winter Seasonal to the new Alpine Spring in early January in most of our markets."

Looking ahead to fiscal 2012, Boston Beer forecasts earnings per share in a range of $3.80 to $4.20. Analysts expect the company to earn $4.14 per share. The company projects depletion growth for the full-year of between 6 percent and 9 percent.

Boston Beer's fourth-quarter net income was $17.79 million or $1.33 per share, up from $12.17 million or $0.87 per share in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $1.17 per share. On average, five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.12 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Net revenue for the quarter rose 23 percent to $142.05 million from $115.74 million in the prior-year quarter, and beat analysts' consensus estimate of $131.62 million.

The higher revenues were mainly due to core shipment volume gains with minor improvement in pricing.

SAM closed Wednesday's trading at $104.58, up $4.37 or 4.36 percent on a volume of 223,710 shares. In after-hours, the stock declined $1.41 or 1.35 percent to $103.17.

by RTT Staff Writer

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