Mad Money

The King of Beer Stocks

Cramer couldn’t spend an entire show talking about vice but not discuss drinking. These stocks make for great defensive plays now that the price wars that once hurt this industry are over.

Best of Beer?

And for best of breed investors want BUD, the old Anheuser-Busch, which is now part of Inbev . The company’s massive scale allows BUD to outspend, outsell and outmarket any other beer outfit in the world, Cramer said. It controls 13 brands that generate over $1 billion in sales a year, and four of these rank among the top 10 beers in the world.

And that dominance extends outside the US, too, where it owns a 49% market share. In Brazil, BUD has 69% of the market. In Argentina, it’s 74%. And up north in Canada, that number is 42%. Right now BUD has the number one or two position in 19 different countries, with SABMiller, the next largest player, not even coming close in terms of scale. And in this business, scale drives margins and profitability.

In addition to these positives, BUD has been moving into premium brands, which should also boost margins and create volume growth, especially in emerging markets. And the merger with Inbev continues, figuratively, to pay dividends in the way of cost savings, and Cramer said the balance sheet is improving. He also pointed to a strong quarter in August with twice the organic growth that the company has expected.

Vice may have a “deleterious effect” on your health, Cramer said, “but it is great for your portfolio.

“That’s why as investors we can’t get enough drinking,” he said. “and the alcohol stock to keep an eye on is BUD.”

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