Molson Coors makes $700M turnaround in a year amid Bud Light fiasco

Molson Coors brewing company made a gigantic turnaround in the last year as “significant shifts” in consumer habits catapulted the company’s earnings forward.

The beer giant reported a very strong fourth quarter compared to the year prior, taking in $103.3 million for the end of 2023. This equated to a nearly $700 million turnaround when compared to a loss of $590.5 million for Q4 2022. That’s a difference of 48 cents per share added to start 2024 versus losing $2.73 per share the year prior.

The company’s market share gains come as consumers shifted away from Bud Light, CNBC reported, with the company claiming that the purchasing shifts will become permanent.

“The gains we’ve seen in our core brands have been consistent for over nine months,” CEO Gavin Hattersley reportedly said. “We’re growing in every region, every channel, with every major customer in the United States, and at this point, we believe that the shifts in the U.S. beer industry are permanent,” he continued.

Net sales grew 9.3% in the quarter while underlying income increased 36.9% before taxes, the company’s report stated.

Molson Coors’ analysts said that the company was well positioned to benefit from “significant shifts in consumer purchasing habits, largely in the U.S. premium segment” in 2023. This increased demand and grew Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Banquet brands significantly.

The company also flexed its muscles by spending more than $21 million on a Super Bowl commercial that featured hip-hop legend LL Cool J and smartly stayed away from any political statements.

The company also benefited from some massive brand loyalty from spokesman and Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mahomes was seen drinking Coors Light all over the internet during his team’s victory parade, including in high-profile image licensing banks.

In a video posted to X, Mahomes was even seen rejecting a fan’s offer of a different beer, opting to pass it off to a teammate.

“We plan to build on this momentum in 2024, with strong commercial plans, a powerful and supportive distributor network, and the financial flexibility to reinvest in our business,” CEO Hattersley added in the report.

Meanwhile, analysts like TD Cowen’s Robert Moskow said the company will “hold on to the majority of the share they picked up from the Bud Light boycotts.”

However, perhaps revealing a bit more reality, Ariel Investments’ Tim Fidler said that Molson Coors’ core brands were “growing dollar share even before the Bud Light controversy.”

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