The combination of a catalog of premium brands - which also includes a range of wines and spirits - and a focus on the North American market enables Constellation to achieve margins twice those of Carlsberg or Heineken.

In this sector, there are two levers for creating value - pricing power and M&A - and Constellation is on top of both. Between 2012 and 2022, the group reinvested half of these profits in a highly lucrative external growth strategy, with returns on investment averaging 15%.

It has since taken its foot off the pedal when it comes to changes in scope, focusing instead on optimizing its operations. Over the last three years, on average, Constellation has generated a remarkably stable annual cash profit - or "free cash flow" - of $1.6 billion.

The $4.9 billion in cash profits accumulated over 2022, 2023 and 2024 were returned in full to shareholders, three-quarters via share buy-backs, the remaining quarter via dividends.

This represents a clear paradigm shift for a group historically focused on external growth, and which has seen its sales almost quadruple over the preceding decade.

Moreover, despite its superb management, Constellation has not escaped the inflationary pressures impacting brewers' cost structures at all levels. Sales have risen a notch over the last twelve months, but margins have fallen sharply.

As we can see, the market is not penalizing this development as harshly as it is for the major European brewers - such as Heineken -  since Constellation's valuation multiples remain well anchored around their historical averages.

Unlike Henry Schein, who in terms of business defensiveness has little to envy Constellation, investors are maintaining their vote of confidence here.