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Anheuser-Busch Profit Rises on International Sales

Anheuser-Busch, the nation's largest brewer, said that a boost in international sales helped push its profit up 11 percent in the third quarter.

Shares of the company rose about 1 percent Wednesday.

The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers earned $707 million, or 95 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $638 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2006.

Net sales also rose 8 percent to $4.62 billion from $4.28 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of 93 cents.

Anheuser-Busch shares rose 64 cents to $52.19 in afternoon trading.

The company reported the revenue of its U.S. beer segment rose 2 percent during the third quarter, while revenue from international markets jumped 8 percent.

"Earnings contribution from our international segment accelerated, led by Grupo Modelo," President and Chief Executive August A. Busch IV said in a statement.

"Sales volume and revenue growth in our U.S. beer business benefited from our broadened beer portfolio, with greater participation in the high end segment," he said.

In September, Anheuser-Busch said it expected full-year sales and earnings growth in the second half of 2007 to exceed the company's growth target of 7 percent to 10 percent by an undisclosed amount.

Busch affirmed that projection Wednesday.

The brewer did not specify a full-year earnings target. Analysts expect full-year earnings per share of $2.81, which would be an increase of 11 percent over last year's $2.53.

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