Anheuser-Busch Earnings Not So Tasty

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Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD) reported its third-quarter results Friday before the U.S. markets opened as $1.42 in earnings per share and $12.23 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters had consensus estimates of $1.53 in earnings per share and $12.50 billion in revenue. In the third quarter of the previous year, the beverage giant reported $1.36 in earnings per share and $11.73 billion in revenue.

The company said it expects revenue per hectoliter for the 2014 full year to grow organically in line with inflation and for the cost of sales to increase organically by low single digits. For the full year, Anheuser-Busch expects that there will be an improvement in the U.S. industry volumes, the Mexican beer industry will return to profitability and that Brazil’s beer industry volumes will resume growth.

Total volumes for the third quarter decreased by 2.6%, with own beer volumes decreasing by 2.7% and non-beer volumes down by 0.9%. For the nine months ending in September, volumes are up 0.8%, with own beer volumes up 0.6% and non-beer volumes up by 2.6%.

Volumes in Anheuser-Busch’s global segments looked like:

  • Mexico’s volume grew by 2.9%.
  • Brazil’s volume increased by 0.2%.
  • China’s volume fell by 4.9%.

Anheuser-Busch had two brands in the top 10 best-selling beers in the world, Bud Light and Budweiser came in on the list as the number 3 and number 4 beers, respectively.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Anheuser-Busch is preparing an offer of as much as $122 billion to acquire SABMiller, the second largest brewer in the world. A tie-up between the world’s two largest brewers would almost certainly result in the sale of SABMiller’s MillerCoors joint venture in the United States and an Anheuser-Busch joint venture with China Resources. Even so, about one of every three beers consumed in the world would be an Anheuser-Busch beer.

On September 15, Stifel maintained a Buy rating for Anheuser-Busch and moved the price target up to $130 from $121.

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Shares of Anheuser-Busch closed Thursday barely up less than 1% at $110.01. Following the release of the earnings report, the initial response in the premarket was negative and shares were down 1.5% at $108.36.

In the first hour of regular trading, shares fell 1% to $108.91. The consensus analyst price target is $130.03, and the 52-week trading range is $93.72 to $116.65. The market cap is near $176 billion.