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Mario Gabelli Comments on Brown-Forman Corp

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Holly LaFon
Dec 12, 2018
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Brown-Forman Corp. (BFA) (2.3%) (BFA/BFB – $50.80/$50.55 – NYSE) is a leading global distilled spirits producer. Spirits is an advantaged category that enjoys high margins, low capital requirements, strong free cash flow generation, and good pricing power. The company’s global brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, Finlandia vodka, Woodford Reserve bourbon, and el Jimador and Herradura tequilas. Jack Daniel’s is one of the world’s most valuable spirits brands, enjoying strong growth both in the U.S. and internationally as consumers increasingly choose to drink American whiskies. The company has also successfully expanded the brand into the fast growing flavored whiskey category. While Brown-Forman does face some near term headwinds from ongoing trade disputes, emerging market sales have returned to growth, and the company is positioned to grow revenues and profits substantially over the next several years, and has significant balance sheet flexibility. While the company is family controlled, we believe that if it ever became available for sale it would be highly coveted by other large global spirits players.


Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio)'s third-quarter 2018 Gabelli Asset Funds shareholder letter.

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