Constellation Brands Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of alcoholic-beverage maker Constellation Brands (NYS: STZ) partied it up today, up by as much as 11% before the neighbors called in a noise complaint, causing shares to settle down to close with a "modest" 9% gain after the company reported second-quarter results ahead of expectations.

So what: Last night, Constellation put up revenue of $690 million, which turned into diluted earnings per share of $0.77. Both of these figures easily bested the analysts' consensus of $667.9 million and $0.66. Throughout the first two quarters of its fiscal 2012, it has generated free cash flow of $478 million and is on track to hit its full-year target of $600 million to $650 million.

Now what: Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands said: "The underlying fundamentals of our business remain solid. We are investing additional resources behind key brands and routes to market while implementing changes to achieve cost savings and drive operational efficiencies. I am particularly pleased with our quarterly results in the areas of free cash flow generation and margin improvement." It's a tough economy that hasn't been giving us much reason to celebrate lately, so it's quite a feat to put up strong numbers and raise guidance.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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