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Constellation Brands CEO Says Alcohol Company Had 'Superb' March

Constellation Brands CEO Says Alcohol Company Had 'Superb' March

Alcohol company Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ) is seeing a minimal impact to sales from the coronavirus, as shutdowns work to "our advantage," CEO Bill Newlands told CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in a Friday interview.

'Superb' March For Constellation

One would assume that the vast number of restaurants and bar closures would impact alcohol sales, but that isn't the case at all, Newlands said.

March "has been superb" due to a channel shift as the on-premise restaurant and bar channel closes, he said. But the public can so far purchase alcohol for consumption at home, as governments declare alcohol to be an essential product.

"Given that 85% to 90% of our business across all three sectors is done in the off premise, it really works to our advantage, to some degree," Newlands said.

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Constellation Holds Back On Full-Year Guidance 

Despite a strong performance throughout March, Constellation feels it is too "risky" at this time to offer full-year guidance, the CEO said.

It is unclear to what March's sales will reflect "pantry loading," he said. This would be consistent with what is seen in recessionary periods, although this time around, the coronavirus represents "uncharted waters," Newlands said. 

Once management has a better understanding of "how things are going to work out," it can then offer an outlook, he said.

What's Next For Constellation 

Consumers shouldn't worry that their supermarkets and grocery stores will run out of Corona beer or other brands, Newlands said, adding that the company remains committed to supplying consumer demand moving forward.

The stock was trading 7.22% higher at $141.71 at the time of publication Monday. 

Related Links:

Alcohol Sales Up 55% In Third Week Of March

The Story Behind The Ticker: Constellation Brands


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