STZ - Constellation Brands, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
202.60
+3.22 (+1.62%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT

203.00 +0.40 (0.20%)
After hours: 6:21PM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close199.38
Open199.89
Bid202.60 x 900
Ask203.00 x 800
Day's Range199.23 - 203.16
52 Week Range150.37 - 228.91
Volume785,667
Avg. Volume1,696,850
Market Cap38.8B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.13
PE Ratio (TTM)16.07
EPS (TTM)12.61
Earnings DateOct 2, 2019 - Oct 7, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield3.00 (1.50%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-12
1y Target Est225.91
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    (Bloomberg) -- To understand why Bruce Linton was fired as head of Canopy Growth Corp., look to the earnings conference call last month.Linton was on the defensive as he kicked off the call, after reporting numbers that missed estimates. He told analysts it takes time to turn a profit when you’re running the biggest cannabis company in the world.“We could have stayed there and we would have been a nice tidy little company, probably quite profitable,” he said, referring to the early days before Canopy attracted the $4 billion investment from alcohol giant Constellation Brands Inc. that changed everything. “You need to use that capital to build scale, and we did.”On the same call, interim Chief Financial Officer Mike Lee, who joined Canopy from Constellation in May, struck a different tone.“As successful as we’ve been, we need to continue to challenge ourselves as a company to build out our success,” Lee said, adding that he was focused on improving margins and getting Canopy’s Canadian operations to profitability.Those contrasting views on the path to profit help explain why Linton was unexpectedly ousted Wednesday, less than a year after Constellation made its $4 billion investment. His departure is the latest example of the growing pressure facing pot companies to do more than market themselves and boost their share price. They need to start thinking about making money.“There was an un-alignment between the Canopy Growth board and Bruce, and obviously that reached a point where the board felt it couldn’t continue,” Mark Zekulin, who was co-CEO with Linton and became sole CEO with his ouster, said in a phone interview.Linton’s departure is “surprising but not shocking” and represents a broader maturation of the pot industry, said investment banker Neil Selfe, founder and CEO of Infor Financial Group Inc., who has led several fundraising rounds for Canopy and has known Linton since the mid-1990s.“Investors are starting to focus on real profitability metrics and cash flow as opposed to forecasted revenue,” Selfe said in a phone interview. “There’s no doubt that as the industry matures there’s a different skill set that is required. Some CEOs have that, some don’t.”Constellation’s PickWhile Selfe believes Linton had what it took to guide Canopy to profitability, “it’s a natural evolution for Constellation to want to bring in somebody of their choosing,” he said. Constellation owns just under 40% of Canopy and holds a majority of its board seats.Investors took the firing in stride. After falling as much as 5% in early trading, the stock closed 2.5% higher in New York, lifting Canopy’s market value to $14.1 billion. Canopy, founded in 2013, isn’t the first large cannabis company to replace its founders with more seasoned management. Former Aphria Inc. CEO Vic Neufeld was replaced by Hain Celestial Group Inc. founder Irwin Simon after short-seller allegations rocked the company. CannTrust Holdings Inc. and Organigram Holdings Inc. have also replaced their original CEOs. With little access to debt markets and limited cash flow, many pot companies went public much sooner than other startups because they needed the shares as currency to do deals and grow.Linton’s exit “is symbolic of a transition for the industry, from its entrepreneurial beginnings to its current opportunity in becoming a significant consumer-goods industry,” said Charles Taerk, CEO of Faircourt Asset Management, which runs the pot-focused Ninepoint Alternative Health Fund and has owned shares of Canopy for about two years.The latest quarterly results were “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” especially now that some other companies in the industry like Organigram have demonstrated they can be profitable, Taerk said. “Now investors are starting to judge the companies a little differently. They’re starting to say, ‘Wait a second, how are they profitable and you’re so far from profitable?”’Visible ReturnsCanopy lost C$98 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in its fiscal fourth quarter. It also reported an adjusted gross margin of 16%, down from 43% in the first quarter.Zekulin said he doesn’t plan to stay on after Linton’s replacement is found.“I think it’s time to open the tent wide open. There will be great internal candidates and there will be great external candidates,” he said. “I’m committed to being here long enough to make sure everything goes well and we have a smooth transition.”It’s likely Linton won’t be the last pot CEO forced out by increasingly impatient shareholders, said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments Inc. and manager of the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund, which holds Canopy.“It is a consumer products industry at the end of the day and we’ve had a lot of guys that are really stock promoters running these companies,” Taylor said. “A lot of the CEOs are now going to be under the gun to deliver numbers or face something similar.”Linton, 52, was the face of Canopy and arguably of the global cannabis industry, appearing at conferences and events ranging from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to CAGNY, the annual gathering of the food and beverage industry in Boca Raton, Florida.Even with the hasty firing, Linton has no plans to slow down. He steps aside with Canopy shares worth more than $700 million and expects to work on some tech startups and possibly cannabis companies outside Canada.“I don’t plan to retire today,” he said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg TV. “I suspect if I wanted to be chairman or CEO of a variety of companies around the globe, there’s a bunch looking.”(Adds comments from Mark Zekulin in paragraphs 7, 17-18)To contact the reporter on this story: Kristine Owram in Toronto at kowram@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at bolesen3@bloomberg.net, David Scanlan, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Canopy CEO Linton Ousted as Board Decides His ‘Turn is Over’
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    (Bloomberg) -- Bruce Linton, who founded Canopy Growth Corp. in an abandoned chocolate factory and turned it into the world’s biggest cannabis firm, has been ousted as chief executive officer effective immediately.“The board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over,” Linton, 52, said in a statement on Wednesday. Linton told CNBC he was fired. The company didn’t give a reason for his ouster, adding that co-CEO Mark Zekulin will take over as Canopy begins a search for a new leader.“At the end of the day, sometimes entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they’re not super employable,” Linton told the TV network. Canopy shares erased earlier declines.Linton’s unexpected departure comes just five days after Constellation Brands Inc. CEO Bill Newlands said he was “not pleased,” with Canopy’s recent results, and shows that pot companies are facing increased pressure to chart a path to profitability. The Victor, New York-based beverage giant is Canopy’s largest shareholder and has four board seats.“We fully support the decision made by Canopy Growth’s board of directors to appoint Mark Zekulin as the company’s sole CEO,” a Constellation spokeswoman said in an email. “Mark has played an integral role in the company’s success since its inception, including managing all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations.”Constellation agreed to put $4 billion into Canopy, a bold bet on cannabis that set off a flurry of financial activity as U.S. investors poured money into Canadian marijuana companies. Canopy, founded in 2013, has managed to boost revenue, but continues to post losses and declining gross margins. That has started to weigh on the results of Constellation, which controls nearly 40 percent of the company.Linton’s departure signals that cannabis companies are under more pressure to execute, and that there may have been a clash with the corporate culture at Constellation, said Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst Kenneth Shea.“Constellation has really stuck its neck out to justify the big price it paid,” he said.Canopy SupportCanopy’s acting Chief Financial Officer Mike Lee joined the company in May from the beer giant.“Although virtually no details were provided with respect to the timing and rationale behind Bruce’s decision to leave at this time, we believe this will cause an influx of speculation in the market and likely weigh significantly on the stock,” Matt Bottomley, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, wrote in a note. “We are surprised by this headline, but are also aware of Constellation Brands’ displeasure in Canopy’s recent FQ4 earnings, which represented a rather large miss on profitability.”Canopy, based in a former Hershey facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, has seen its market value surge to nearly $14 billion since Canada legalized marijuana last October. Under Linton’s leadership, the stock has gained about 1,900% since it went public in 2014.Related: Read a Profile of Bruce LintonLinton will also step down as chairman of Canopy Rivers Inc., the venture capital arm of the pot company.Linton told CNBC he owns 18 million shares of Canopy, worth about $721 million based on Tuesday’s closing price.(Updates with shares.)To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Giammona in New York at cgiammona@bloomberg.net;Kristine Owram in Toronto at kowram@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, David Scanlan, Cécile DauratFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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