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Constellation Brands Slips To Loss In Q2 On Canopy Growth Investment Loss

Brewer Constellation Brands Inc. on Thursday slipped to a loss in the second quarter, reflecting losses from its investment in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp. the company's shares lost 6 percent in the regular trading session.

Constellation Brands' second-quarter attributable net loss was $525.2 million or $2.52 per share, compared to net income of $1.15 billion or $5.41 per share in the year-ago period.

Constellation said its share equity losses and related activities from its $4 billion investment in Canopy Growth was a loss of $484.4 million in the quarter.

Constellation, the maker of Corona and Modelo beers, noted that it has recognized a $757 million unrealized net gain in reported basis results since its initial investment in Canopy Growth in November 2017. The brewer also said it recognized an $839 million decrease in the fair value of its investments in Canopy in the latest quarter.

However, excluding items, Constellation's comparable basis earnings per share for the quarter were $2.72, including Canopy Growth equity losses of $0.20. On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $2.60 per share for the quarter.

Constellation's net sales for the quarter rose 2 percent to $2.34 billion from $2.30 billion in the year-ago period.

Constellation Brands acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth in October 2017, as it sought to gain a foothold in the recreational marijuana market. The beer and wine giant later raised its stake in Canopy Growth to 38 percent in August 2018 after it announced an investment of C$5 billion, or $4 billion.

Canopy Growth has not recorded a profit in any of the recent quarters, even as it has reported higher sales. Constellation Brands has told analysts it is not pleased with Canopy Growth's performance.

In July, Canopy Growth ousted its co-chief executive officer Bruce Linton and said that Mark Zekulin has agreed to become the sole CEO of the company. Linton later said he was fired from his post.

Linton was the brain behind Canopy's growth into a cannabis powerhouse. He signed partnerships with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg as well as Martha Stewart and also inked deals with Constellation Brands and acquired U.S.-based Acreage Holdings.

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