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Constellation Brands vs Molson Coors: Which Beverage Stock Is The Street Favoring?

Constellation Brands vs Molson Coors: Which Beverage Stock Is The Street Favoring?



The at-home consumption of alcohol has surged since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even after the easing of lockdown restrictions, on-premise alcohol consumption at bars and restaurants remains weak.

The US beer industry alone is expected to lose 651,000 jobs by the end of 2020 according to a report by the Beer Institute, Brewers Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and the American Beverage Licensees. The report also states that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a decline of over $22 billion in beer sales this year.

In these challenging times, we will analyze the performance of two of the leading players in the US alcoholic beverage industry—Constellation Brands and Molson Coors and use the TipRanks Stock Comparison tool to see which stock offers a better investment opportunity.

Constellation Brands (STZ)

Constellation Brands is a beer, wine and spirits producer and sells popular imported beer brands Corona and Modelo in the US market. In recent times, the company’s strong beer portfolio has helped it offset the weakness in its wine and spirits businesses. As part of its premium strategy, the company has been divesting its lower-margin wine and spirits brands to focus on premium lines.

The pandemic-led closure of on-premise channels like bars and restaurants had a significant impact on the company’s fiscal 1Q performance and led to a 6.4% sales decline even as off-premise consumption increased due to stay-at-home orders. COVID also slowed down the company’s beer production in Mexico and impacted the business in the first half of fiscal 2021. Constellation Brands expects its product inventories to return to more normal levels by the end of fiscal 3Q.   

The company’s fiscal 2Q (ended Aug. 31) net sales declined 3.6% Y/Y to $2.26 billion with Beer segment sales down 0.3% to $1.64 billion and Wine and Spirits segment sales falling 11.2% to $624.5 million. Aside from the weakness in on-premise sales due to COVID, the company’s lower 2Q sales also reflected the impact of divestitures of certain brands in the Wine and Spirits segment and the Ballast Point divestiture in the Beer segment. Adjusted EPS, excluding Canopy Growth equity losses, came in at $2.91.

The company’s imported beer portfolio continued to see strong demand in 2Q with the Corona brand family growing double-digits in channels tracked by IRI (Information Resources, Inc.) driven by the successful launch of Corona Hard Seltzer and continued robust growth of Corona Premier and Corona Extra. Hard seltzer is a rapidly growing market and Constellation Brands aims to feature among the top three players in this space.

Meanwhile, the company acquired Empathy Wines, a digitally-native wine brand, in fiscal Q1 to strengthen its presence in the direct-to-consumer and e-commerce markets within the wine and spirits category. To further capture the surge in online sales of alcohol beverages, the company recently announced a minority stake in Booker Vineyard's super-luxury, direct-to-consumer focused wine business.

Despite the year-to-date losses, Constellation Brands is still optimistic about its investment in cannabis company Canopy Growth and sees strong growth prospects in the recreational cannabis space.

On Oct. 2, RBC Capital analyst Nik Modi increased Constellation Brands’ price target to $243 from $216 and maintained a Buy rating. According to the analyst, the company's September depletions were in the mid-teens as the company refilled its inventory, adding that he sees its on-premise declines as "moderate".

Modi further commented that beer "consumption levels will remain elevated" as the impact from COVID is unlikely to dissipate for the next few quarters. (See STZ stock analysis on TipRanks)

The Street has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus for Constellation Brands, which breaks down into 3 Buys, 2 Holds, and 1 Sell. The stock is down 2.2% year-to-date but could rise 13.9% in the months ahead as indicated by the average analyst price target of $211.33.

Molson Coors Beverage Company (TAP)

Molson Coors was struggling even before the pandemic as competition from hard seltzers and other categories have been dragging its beer volumes. The pandemic has added to the company’s woes by impacting the on-premise business.

Molson Coors’ 2Q sales fell 15.1% Y/Y to $2.5 billion with almost all the sales being generated by off-premise channels. However, adjusted EPS increased 2% to $1.55 as the company cut down its costs drastically and shifted marketing spending to the second half the year.

On a positive note, the company highlighted that it's Blue Moon LightSky, a light citrus wheat beer launched in February, became the top-selling beer of 2020 as per Nielsen.

Meanwhile, the company is trying to capture growth in the hard seltzer market. It has launched two brands Vizzy and Coors Seltzer in this space. Molson Coors has also partnered with soda giant Coca-Cola to sell Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the US in 2021.

At the same time, Molson Coors recently announced a new range of nonalcoholic products in partnership With L.A. Libations. The first product launched under this partnership was Huzzah, a full-flavored probiotic Seltzer. Other products in the pipeline include MadVine, a 100% plant-based, diet soda with zero calories, zero sugar and no artificial ingredients as well as Golden Wing, a grain-based milk alternative.

In the cannabis space, the company has expanded its partnership with Hexo Corp and formed a joint venture (Truss CBD USA) to explore opportunities for non-alcohol hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) beverages in Colorado. The two entities earlier formed a joint venture called Truss Beverages for the Canadian market to produce non-alcohol cannabis-infused beverages.

Following the company’s 2Q results announced in July, MKM Partners analyst William Kirk reiterated a Buy rating for Molson Coors with a price target of $59 and stated, “it is clear that the previously disclosed April 2020 performance (North America and Europe brand volume) were the worst numbers during this turbulent period. Given the relative under-performance versus the broader market, we expect Molson Coors to re-rate.”

However, recently Kirk lowered his price target to $55 while maintaining a Buy rating. (See TAP stock analysis on TipRanks)

The Street is on the sidelines about Molson Coors. A Hold consensus is based on 4 Buys versus 4 Holds and 2 Sells. The stock has fallen about 37% so far in 2020 and so the average analyst price target of $42.70 indicates an upside potential of 25% in the coming months.  


The upside potential in Molson Coors stock is higher than Constellation Brands currently. However, Constellation Brands looks to be a better choice over the long-term as indicated by the Street’s consensus based on its impressive imported beer portfolio, focus on high-end beer, wine and spirits brands and continued innovation.

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment

The post Constellation Brands vs Molson Coors: Which Beverage Stock Is The Street Favoring? appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…



To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….



Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 


About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. 

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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.



Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 


This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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