boston-beer-loses-its-fizz-the-stock-gets-an-analyst-downgrade.

Boston Beer Loses Its Fizz. The Stock Gets an Analyst Downgrade.


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Boston Beer, maker of Samuel Adams beer, got a stock downgrade from Cowen analysts.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Boston Beer

has more bad times ahead of it. At least, that’s the take of analysts at Cowen who downgraded the stock to Underperform from Market Perform and slashed the price target by more than half to $400, down from $825.

Last month

Boston Beer

(ticker: SAM) — maker of Samuel Adams and Truly Hard Seltzer — shocked Wall Street when it said on an earnings call that it overestimated the demand for its hard seltzer, leading many to realize that the buzz for the drink category was dying down. Shares tumbled more than 30% over the last month on that news alone.

But the Cowen team sees even more downside ahead for Boston Beer, noting that the broader hard seltzer industry saw a 0.4% drop in revenue in the four weeks ending Aug. 14.

“While SAM is gaining more share than we’d expected, the category is slowing more dramatically than we’d modeled. We don’t see an on-premise recovery as a sufficient offset,” Vivien Azer, analyst at Cowen, wrote in a note Wednesday. She notes that beer and ciders have posted double digit declines. 

Azer sees more than 30% downside to consensus 2022 earnings estimates, with her team projecting full year earnings of $18.61 per share while The Street projects $27.35. Azer’s new $400 price target on shares implies a 21.5 times multiple on the stock, which is still greater than the 10-year low of 18 times and the 20 times average during the company’s “doldrums” in 2015 and 2016.

Even as hard seltzer prospects are dwindling, Boston Beer is still trying to innovate. Earlier this month it announced a partnership with

PepsiCo

(PEP) to develop Hard Mtn Dew,  a malt beverage with 5% alcohol by volume.

Boston Beer shares were down more than 6% in morning trading while the S&P 500 was flat.

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com