Anheuser-Busch shares slip on Goldman Sachs note

Anheuser-Busch InBev shares slip after Goldman Sachs calls them a 'Conviction Sell'

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev slipped Friday after Goldman Sachs said they've gotten a little too fizzy.

THE SPARK: Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "Conviction Sell" list. The Belgium-based maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois beers is due to report first-quarter results on Tuesday.

Analyst Mitch Collett noted that the company has already said it will be a soft quarter, and recent indicators from similar companies and industry data suggest that market conditions in Brazil and the U.S. have deteriorated. Those two countries account for 73 percent of Anheuser-Busch InBev's earnings, before interest and other items.

THE BIG PICTURE: The company's earnings aren't expected to grow as fast as the industry's, and Collett believes there's a risk of a 10 percent decline in the company's stock price. Anheuser-Busch InBev "benefits from strong positions within its main markets ... but lacks long-terim growth opportunities" because 72 percent of its sales are in beer markets where beer consumption already runs above 60 liters per capita.

SHARE ACTION: Down $1.93, or 2 percent, to $94.28 in afternoon trading. They're still closer to the high end of their 52-week range of $64.99 to $101.86.

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