October 5, 2016 / 12:32 PM / 2 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Constellation sales beat as beer demand surges; stock tracks new high

(Corrects full-year adjusted profit forecast figures in paragraph 10)

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Constellation Brands Inc reported a better-than-expected 16.6 percent jump in quarterly sales, primarily driven by robust demand for its beers such as Corona and Modelo, and the company raised its full-year profit forecast.

Shares of the company, which also bought a high-end whisky distillery, were up 4.4 percent at $173.20 in premarket trading on Wednesday, on pace to open at a record high.

The company’s beer sales rose 20 percent in the second quarter, boosted by higher volumes, better pricing and increased demand for its Ballast Point craft beer.

Constellation, which until three years ago was known for its premium wine brands and spirits, transformed into a major beer player in the United States after it acquired the remaining half of its Crown Imports joint venture with Mexico’s Grupo Modelo.

The 2013 deal gave the company full control of distributing the popular Corona Extra beer in the lucrative U.S. market.

The Victor, New York-based company also said it would buy Utah-based High West Distillery for about $160 million to enter the high-end craft whiskey segment.

The deal adds High West’s American straight whiskey brands, such as American Prairie Bourbon, Double Rye!, to Constellation’s portfolio.

The company’s net sales rose to $2.02 billion in the three months ended Aug. 31, from $1.73 billion a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected $1.96 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Constellation raised its adjusted profit forecast to $6.30-$6.45 for the year ending February, from $6.05-$6.35 it previously expected.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $358.9 million, or $1.75 per share, from $302.4 million, or $1.49 per share.

Excluding certain items, the company earned $1.77 per share, handily beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.65.

Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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