Article: Boston Beer Keeps It Fresh
Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series is a piece on one of my favorite companies, and a company that actually helped me land a spot in the Writer’s Development Program in the first place. Boston Beer Co. (NYSE: SAM) – the purveyor of the Sam Adams brand of beer, among others – and has long been a favorite of investors and beer drinkers alike. This will not be the first time that I touch on the company in this series, and even though I don’t drink anymore, it remains one of my favorite companies that I wrote about while working at the Fool.
I believe I wrote this article as part of our sector classes, and I believe it was categorized as a consumer good. I probably chose Boston Beer over some other consumer goods staples because of my affinity for the company, but I’m not 100% sure. These early articles were “practice” for the most part, and our first handful of articles tended to be “takes,” or quick 400-500 word pieces about small bits of investment news. This one was no different.
The article mentions a recent earnings release, but also talks about the company’s just-in-time inventory system – the Freshest Beer Program – which was supposed to ensure fresh product was available on the shelf (hence the title of the article itself). I also pointed out that the company was reliant on its founder Jim Koch, who owns 100% of the Class B shares and all the voting power in the company.
Here’s the ancient tweet announcing my article back in the day:
Had an investor purchased and held onto Boston Beer Co. after the publication of my article – which didn’t really have a direct buy recommend but was generally positive – they would be a fairly happy investor, amd would have slightly outperformed the S&P 500 over the same period. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and total growth of Boston Beer outperformed the S&P 500 from article publication (August 25, 2011) through the end of December 2017:
|Stock||Start Price||End Price||CAGR||Total Growth||Value of $10,000|
|Boston Beer Co.||$79.03||$191.10||14.90%||141.81%||$24,181|
Source: Yahoo! Finance & author calculation; Stock prices include dividends & stock splits
Boston Beer’s stock, as indicated above, has generally gone up since late 2011, reaching a peak all-time high of $314.52 a share in January 2015, before coming back to earth a bit as the craft beer market reached peak saturation. However, it does remain the second largest producer of “craft brews,” as well as the distribution and production arm for a lot of smaller regional brewers. It is definitely a company that has remained on my radar, but I would probably have to do a bit more heavy research before deciding to invest in it based on past performance.
Until next time…
Disclaimer: I do not own currently own shares in Boston Beer Co., I also have no plans to purchase shares within the next 60 days in any account in which I manage investment funds. You can read a little about my personal investment philosophy here.