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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Monster and Coca-Cola

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –May 28, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: PepsiCo, Inc. PEP, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV BUD, Monster Beverage Corp. MNST and The Coca-Cola Company KO.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Soda & Beverage Stocks to Gain from Aluminum Tariff Lift

President Donald Trump’s resolution to remove aluminum tariffs on the imported metal could help U.S. soda and beverages industry regain its fizz. Therefore, investors can take note of a few stocks from the industry in a bid to bank on the gains ahead.

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Finally Reach a Deal

Last week, Trump initiated steps to ease trade tensions between the United States, Canada and Mexico by lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum.

The move was promptly echoed by the Canadian and Mexican governments, announcing the removal of retaliatory tariffs on a variety of American goods, from metals to food. The tariffs were a key hurdle to the approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal signed in 2018. So, it could now be easier for the three governments to ratify the deal.

The United States soda and beverages industry, in particular, stands to gain from the removal of aluminum tariffs since it predominantly uses imported aluminum for manufacturing the cans.

Aluminum Tariffs Impacted U.S. Soda & Beverages Industry

Since soda and beverages companies manufacture a large number of products packaged in aluminum bottles and cans, the brunt of 10% tax on imported aluminum was felt by them when it came into effect last year. Manufacturing cost for canned items rose along with the cost of cans used for packaging drinks, which affected sales of many beverage companies.

This led to companies trying to absorb the imported aluminum price hike through various means. These included layoffs, postponing innovation and expansion, and ultimately moving the price rise onto consumers.

The increased price of beverages in aluminum cans made them not only unattractive from an economic viewpoint but also gave other products, including glass and plastic packaging, a competitive edge since these aren’t subject to tariffs. In addition, foreign competitors also got the benefit of not paying a falsely inflated raw cost.

However, now that the tariffs are off the table, the scenario looks promising for employment, introduction of innovative techniques and profitability for soda and beverage companies.

According to Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of American Beverage Association, the U.S. beverages industry supports about 253,000 jobs, contributes $182 billion in direct economic impact and offers $19.8 billion in benefits and wages.

Given the bright scope ahead for this industry, it would be prudent to keep an eye on some beverage stocks for your portfolio.

Our Choices

We have selected four stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and could gain big from the aluminum tariff lift. In addition, all these beverage companies have beaten their respective sub-industries on a year-to-date basis or over a one-year period.

PepsiCo, Inc. is a food and beverage company. The company's North America Beverages segment offers beverage concentrates, fountain syrups and finished goods under the brand names of Aquafina, Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Pepsi etc among other beverages.

The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 0.2% in the past 60 days. The company’s stock price has outperformed the Zacks Beverages – Soft Drinks Market on a year-to-date basis (+17.6% vs +11.8%). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV is a brewing company that offers a portfolio of about 500 beer brands that include Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois.

The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 and its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 4.4% in the past 60 days. The company’s stock price has outperformed the Zacks Beverages - Alcoholic Market on a year-to-date basis (+25.1% vs +18.9%).

Monster Beverage Corp. is a manufacturer and marketer of energy drink beverages and concentrates in the United States and globally. Monster Beverage Corporation sells its products under the brand manes of Monster Energy, Monster Energy Ultra, Monster Rehab, Monster MAXX, Java Monster, Muscle Monster and Espresso Monster among various others.

The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 and its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 1.5% in the past 60 days. The company’s stock price has outperformed the Zacks Beverages – Soft Drinks Market on a year-to-date basis (+28.4% vs +11.8%).

The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company that mostly manufactures and markets a variety of nonalcoholic beverages globally. Some of the company’s popular brands include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Schweppes, Sprite and Thums Up etc.

The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 and its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 0.5% in the past 30 days. The company’s stock price has outperformed the Zacks Beverages – Soft Drinks Market over the past one-year period (+17.6% vs +8.0%).

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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