Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) is set to release its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday, with investors paying close attention to its U.S. business segment. While only accounting for a quarter of AB InBev's overall business, recent events have put a spotlight on this particular market.
AB InBev's American depositary receipts (ticker: BUD) have faced a significant decline of about 16% since April, largely due to plummeting sales of their Bud Light brand. Once America's top-selling beer, Bud Light has received criticism from conservative consumers and investors following a marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and subsequent management response.
These declining sales have benefited competitors and raised concerns among analysts, who have reduced their second-quarter earnings-per-share estimates by 12.5% over the past three months, according to FactSet data. The consensus now predicts AB InBev to earn 68 cents per share on revenue of $15.38 billion.
In May, the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results and addressed the controversy during its conference call. Despite the negative attention surrounding Bud Light, optimists highlight that AB InBev generates nearly three-quarters of its business from international markets where this particular issue holds no significance. Additionally, some believe that the worst of Bud Light's sales decline might be over, with potential long-term damage being relatively minimal.
Of the 29 analysts covering AB InBev, over 60% maintain a Buy rating or its equivalent on the company's shares, according to FactSet. The average price target stands at $67.32, approximately 20% higher than the current levels.
Experts argue that despite the recent selloff, AB InBev still remains an attractive investment opportunity due to the global strength of its brands.