Compared with the previous year, Molson Coors Brewing Co. is off to a slow start in 2017.

The Denver brewing giant reported first-quarter net sales decreased 0.5 percent to $2.4 billion and net income fell to $165.6 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, from $188.3 million, or 87 cents per share a year earlier.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters First Call expected earnings of $1.30 per share and revenues of $2.46 billion.

CEO Mark Hunter commented in a statement on the "softer start" to 2017: "First quarter underlying earnings were lower than last year, primarily due to higher brand amortization expense and weaker January and February volumes in the U.S. this year-- and because we were cycling strong earnings comparatives from last year."

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