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Coors earnings rise.

Adolph Coors Co., the nation's third biggest brewer, reported its first-quarter profit rose nearly 24 percent due to higher sales and improved production cost management. The results beat Wall Street expectations but its shares tumbled.

Coors earned $18.3 million, or 49 cents a share, in the January-March period, up from $14.8 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago.

The results Thursday beat expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call, who predicted earnings of 45 cents a share.

First-quarter revenue before excise taxes rose to $637.8 million from $596.8 million a year ago.

But Coors said the rise reflected a buildup in distributor beer inventories in preparation for higher sales in the peak summer season.

The company said distributors' sales to retailers declined about 1.3 percent.

Peter H. Coors, chairman of the Coors brewery unit, blamed poor weather and weak economic conditions for the soft retail sales.

Some analysts said the inventory buildup and soft retail market could hurt second-quarter earnings. Coors' products include Coors Light, Original Coors, Killian's Red and Zima. Its trails Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing in the beer industry.

Coors stock sank 9.8 percent, or $5.91 a share, to $54.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 7, 2001
Words:210
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