With the sweltering heat of summer, a time when many people enjoy drinking a frosty brew, it seems appropriate to have a look at beer brewer stocks. Typically a defensive industry, these companies have generally been doing a good job growing volume lately. The world’s number one beer brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD), reported revenue at the end of July that came in well ahead of the analyst consensus. Trading at a fair valuation, the stock may have more upside this year.
BUD at a Glance
Clearly, the Belgians know a thing or two about beer. With a huge $157.77 billion market cap, and around 118,000 employees, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD) is the world’s largest beer conglomerate. The Belgium-based company’s brands include venerable brews such as Stella Artois, Budweiser, Beck’s, Leffe, Michelob, Brahma and Jupiler. The stock is up around 24% in the last year, and yields around 2.10% at a fairly low payout ratio of 29%.
Strong Revenue Growth
The company has seen very steady earnings growth over the last few years, going from an annual EPS of $2.48 in 2009 to $4.55 in 2012 for an 83% increase. Despite a few misses along the way, the company looks well positioned for growth, with analysts expecting $4.83 per share over fiscal 2013 and a 3-5 year growth rate of around 24%.
The company’s most recent earnings report was upbeat. While Q2 2013 EPS of $0.93 missed expectations of $1.03, and were down from $1.21 in the same period a year ago, revenue beat quite substantially. Revenue for the quarter came in at $10.59 billion, up 7.26% year-over-year and well above the $10.2 billion consensus. The news sent the stock up 6%.
Geographically, Asia Pacific was the best performing region with a 5.1% volume increase for the quarter driven mainly by strength in China. The worst performing region was Western Europe, still mired in macro-economic difficulties, with a steep 7.2% volume decrease. Moving on to Latin America, the company’s incorporation of Grupo Modelo is going well according to management, and is expected to deliver around $1 billion in cost synergies over the next four years despite a fairly soft economy in the region.
Brazil, an important growth market, showed a small decline in volume, and things are expected to remain soft in the region throughout the year. Regarding the outlook more generally, the company expects strong growth in China to continue through 2013. Overall volume is expected to grow throughout the year, as well as revenue per hectoliter.