Boston Beer shares soar to a new all-time high after raised guidance

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Boston Beer shares soared as much as 17% to a new intraday all-time high Friday, one day after the maker of Samuel Adams and Truly hard seltzer reported third-quarter earnings and raised guidance.

The stock was up about 14% to about $1,044 apiece in afternoon trading, adding to its major run so far in 2020. Shares of Boston Beer are up almost 180% year to date.

The company on Thursday posted third-quarter earnings per share of $6.51, surpassing Wall Street forecasts of $4.63, according to FactSet. Revenues of $492.8 million represented a 30% increase from the same quarter last year but missed analysts’ expectations of $519.5 million.

Boston Beer projected its strong momentum will continue in the fourth quarter and into next year and hiked guidance accordingly. The company said it now expects shipments and depletions, which measures products sold from distributors to retailers, to be up between 37% and 42% in 2020. Previous forecasts anticipated an increase of between 27% and 35%.

The strength of its hard seltzer brand Truly so far this year was the primary reason for the raised outlook, Boston Beer President and CEO Dave Burwick said in a release.

The company also is forecasting shipments and depletions to grow between 35% and 45% in 2021. That came in above Wall Street’s projections of a roughly 30% increase, according to analysts at Jefferies.

The analysts, who have a $575 price target on the stock, said in a note they were keeping their underperform rating due to competitive risks in the red-hot hard seltzer category and their belief shares are “priced for perfection.”

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained their hold rating on Boston Beer’s stock but raised their price target to $996 from $835. In a note to clients, the analysts described the company’s quarter as “relatively mixed,” noting that revenue was lighter than expectations.

However, they said the bullish forecasts from management supported higher earnings in 2021. They also expect margins to improve as pressures from the coronavirus pandemic wane.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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