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Boston Beer’s Rapid Rise Slows In Fourth Quarter, As Share Price Drops Sharply

February 25, 2015

After enjoying revenue and shipments increases of more than 20% over the first nine months of 2014, growth slowed markedly for Boston Beer Co. in the fourth quarter, leaving the craft brewer short of analysts’ full-year projections. Boston Beer’s fourth-quarter net revenue was up by 6% over the year-earlier period to $217.8 million, while its core shipments grew by 4% to just under 1 million barrels. The slower growth, as well as 2015 per-share earnings projections well below those of analysts, led to a double-digit drop in Boston Beer’s share price in after-hours trading yesterday.

Despite the disappointing fourth quarter, Boston Beer achieved impressive growth in 2014, as net revenue, shipments, depletions and earnings per share all increased by at least 20%. The company says its depletions growth was driven by solid gains for its Angry Orchard, Twisted Tea and Samuel Adams brands, as well as its Traveler range of shandies. Boston Beer said its depletions were up by roughly 12% through the first six weeks of 2015, and it projects depletions and shipments growth of 8%-to-12% for the full year.

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