Molson Coors (TAP) said its core income rose 42% in the fourth quarter on 12% higher sales as the company reversed a recent pattern of underperformance. Shares rose 3.8%.
The beer behemoth posted 97 cents of EPS on Thursday, handily beating analysts’ expectations for 70 cents. Worldwide beer volume grew 2.6%, after volume had been declining for much of the year (although the company benefited from an extra week in the quarter, and would have shown a 0.1% decline without it.). Molson Coors is also investing in emerging markets, although those investments haven’t yet improved the bottom line — the company posted a small loss in its international business (which doesn’t include Canada and the U.K.).
“The fourth quarter for Molson Coors was a positive finish to a challenging year, with underlying after-tax income up more than 42 percent, earnings per share up 47 percent, and net sales growth of 12 percent. The fourth quarter benefited from solid pricing, an additional week in our fiscal 2011 calendar, and cycling comparatively weak quarterly results the year before,” said CEO Peter Swinburn.
The company also announced a $1l2 bilion share repurchase program.
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