Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. said today that net earnings jumped nearly fivefold on a one-time, $10.4 million gain on the sale of its stake in Chicago's Fulton Street Brewing. Otherwise, second-quarter earnings were mostly flat as higher expenses offset higher sales.

The Portland-based holding company of Widmer Brothers Brewing and Redhook Ale Brewery reported net earnings of $8.2 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $41.5 million, for the quarter ended June 30. That compares with net earnings of $1.7 million, or 10 cents a diluted share, on sales of $37.2 million during the same period a year ago.

In May, Craft sold its minority stake in Fulton Street, which makes Goose Island-label beers, to Anheuser-Busch, Inc., for $16.3 million. Without the $10.4 million gain Craft recorded from the sale, earnings would have been 9 cents a diluted share, the company said. Craft used some of the sale proceeds to pay down debt and prepay the $3.8 million balance on its capital leases.

Operating income during the quarter fell slightly as the company spent 41 percent more on sales, marketing and administration to reach "levels that are appropriate for a leader in the competitive craft brewing market."

Cash and equivalents were $6.5 million, up from near $0 a year earlier. Long-term debt and liabilities were $31.4 million, up from $28.2 million.

Craft reported earnings after trading ended today on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, where shares closed at $6.28, up 53 cents. Shares traded slightly lower in after-hours trading.

-- Brent Hunsberger