May 29, 2016 / 6:42 PM / in a year

Bourbon maker Brown-Forman shares seen expensive

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Brown-Forman (BFb.N), which makes Jack Daniel’s and other liquors, are seen as pricey as the world’s top bourbon seller faces slowing growth in an increasingly crowded field, Barron’s said in its latest online edition.

A Whiskey tasting station is seen at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee May 10, 2011. REUTERS/Martinne Geller

Brown-Forman’s stock had delivered annual gain of 12.5 percent in the past decade including dividend, outpacing the Standard & Poor’s 500 index .SPX by 5 percent points, the financial weekly paper said.

The company’s flavored whiskeys for cocktails, and small-batch labels which are extremely profitable have boosted its growth. They also helped raise its shares’ forward earnings estimates’ at 27 times, compared with a 10-year average of 21 times.

A strong dollar has hurt the revenue of the Louisville, Kentucky-based company in the first nine months of the year, which fell 2 percent. After adjusting for currency moves, it rose 5 percent, Barron’s said.

“A lot of things have to go right in order for shares to outperform over the next year. Only one or two must go wrong for them to fall 10 percent or more,” it said.

Barron’s said it has become harder to catch the attention of consumers with new whiskey flavors.

Back in 2010, there were over 40 flavored whiskeys. Now there are some 450, the paper said.

“If revenue gains continue to slow, shares could lose some of their growth premium. Perhaps they carry a smidgen too much of a safety premium, too,” it said.

On Friday, Brown-Forman’s stock closed up 1.5 percent at $98.36.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Sandra Maler

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