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Molson Coors Income Rises 58 Percent

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 10:15am

NEW YORK (AP) — Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Thursday that its net income rose 58 percent because it maintained and raised prices and cut costs and because the period had one more week this year than last.

For the three months that ended Dec. 31, the maker of Miller Lite and Coors Lite said it earned $173.2 million, or 95 cents per share. A year earlier, it earned $109.8 million, or 58 cents per share.

The beer maker's net income excluding one-time items, 97 cents per share, handily beat Wall Street analysts' average expectation. Analysts expected adjusted profit of 70 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Shares of Molson Coors rose $1.62, or 3.7 percent, to $45.48 in morning trading Thursday.

Revenue was $1.4 billion, up from $1.21 billion. Molson said it benefitted from net price increases in Canada and the United States, while the weak economy hurt its results a year ago.

Gross profit in the latest quarter rose to $389.8 million, up from $359.5 million, and operating income rose to $214.2 million, up from $161 million. Marketing, general and administrative expense declined to $259.9 million, down from $265 million a year ago.

The company sold 6 percent more beer in the quarter worldwide, but its volume fell 0.1 percent for the quarter without the extra week.

Molson Coors repurchased 1.2 million class B common shares for $50 million during the quarter.

For the full year, the company said it earned $676.3 million, or $3.63 per share. That's compared with $707.7 million, or $3.78 per share, a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $3.51 per share.

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