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Lower tax rate boosts Molson Coors 4Q profit

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 10:05 am •  Published: February 13, 2014
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A lower tax expense helped Molson Coors Brewing Co.'s fourth-quarter net income more than double, but earnings fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The beer maker behind Miller, Heineken and Foster's also said Thursday that it is raising its dividend 16 percent, or 5 cents, to 37 cents.

Worldwide beer volume edged up 0.1 percent. Miller Lite in the U.S. and Coors Light in Canada were "challenges," said CEO Peter Swinburn in a statement.

Lower marketing and administrative costs and higher prices lifted profit in the U.S. business, MillerCoors. Still, volumes fell.

Molson Coors also sells beer in Canada, Europe and other regions.

Overall, Molson Coors earned $131.5 million, or 71 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with $60 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier. Income tax expense declined to $13.7 million from $68.8 million.

Excluding restructuring costs and other items, earnings were 68 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 72 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue after excise taxes was nearly unchanged at $1.03 billion. Wall Street predicted $1.01 billion.

For the year, the Denver- and Montreal-based company's earnings climbed to $567.3 million, or $3.08 per share, from $443 million, or $2.44 per share, in 2012. Revenue rose 7 percent to $4.21 billion.

Its stock rose $1.04, or 2 percent, to $54.14 in morning trading.