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March 11 (Reuters) - Boston Beer Co Inc (SAM.N) reported a more than two-fold jump in quarterly profit that topped market expectations, driven by higher shipment volume and an increase in net revenue per barrel.
The company, which makes Samuel Adams beers, also forecast 2008 earnings above analysts’ estimates, and said it plans to increase prices by 5 percent to counter rising costs.
The company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $6.8 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with $2.5 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net revenue rose nearly 26 percent to $92.2 million.
Analysts expected a profit of 35 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $88.7 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shipment volume rose nearly 20 percent, while net revenue per barrel was up about 5.2 percent for the period.
For 2008, Boston Beer expects a profit of $1.70 to $2 per share, excluding items. Analysts were expecting $1.69 per share.
The company sees an increase in production cost of between 12 percent and 16 percent in 2008, driven primarily by malt and barley costs.
Brewers in the United States have faced rising costs as markets for barley and hops — used to make beer — have tightened and the costs of packaging materials such as aluminum and glass have also gone up.
Shares of the company were up at $35.91 in trading after-hours. They closed 5.98 percent higher at $35.81 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Dilipp S. Nag in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)