* Q1 adj EPS 43 cts misses Wall St estimate of 45 cts/shr
* Net sales up 4.4 pct to $690.4 mln, topping Street view
* Shares fall 9 percent premarket (Rewrites first paragraph; Adds analyst estimates, shares)
NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) - Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N) reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that fell short of Wall Street expectations, hurt by commodity inflation and weak economies.
The maker of Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Blue Moon beers said net income was $82.9 million, or 44 cents per share in its first quarter, down from $104.6 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, earnings were 43 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said its Canada business faced tough comparisons with a year ago, due to last year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It also pointed to weak sales volumes across the beer industry, accelerating global commodity inflation and sluggish economies in its core markets of North America and Britain.
Net sales rose 4.4 percent to $690.4 million, topping analysts’ estimate of $686.3 million.
Earlier on Tuesday, MillerCoors, the combined U.S. operations of Molson and SABMiller PLC SAB.L said its profit rose 8.7 percent as it raised beer prices and continued to cut costs. [ID:nLDE73R1CE]
Molson’s shares were down 9.3 percent, or $4.52, at $43.88 in premarket trading, from Monday’s close of $48.40 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Maureen Bavdek)