AP News

Boston Beer shares fall on worries of slower sales


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Boston Beer Co. fell Monday after a UBS analyst highlighted concerns about stalling sales growth.

THE SPARK: UBS analyst Kaumil Gajrawala downgraded the maker of Samuel Adams beer to "Sell" from "Neutral" and cut his price target by $7 to $96.

The company's distribution growth for its Twisted Tea drinks and Angry Orchard hard cider has slowed, Gajrawala said, citing industry data from Nielsen, which provides information on consumers' TV and buying habits. That could mean overall revenue growth may be lower in 2013 than investors and Wall Street analysts expect.

The Boston company's second-quarter net income dropped 48 percent, hurt by lower inventories at some of its wholesalers and rising costs. The results fell short of Wall Street predictions, but the company backed its full-year profit prediction.

Unless the company can come up with some new innovative products, Gajrawala said he expects earnings to disappointment investors in 2013 and beyond.

Boston Beer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

THE SHARES: Down $2.89, or 2.6 percent, to close at $109.08. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have ranged from $71 to $128.07.


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