Bank of America Merrill Lynch issued a research note Wednesday with "buy" ratings on Beam, Coca-Cola, Constellation Brands, and Pepsico, stating that U.S. global-beverage companies may be well positioned for long-term growth.
"KO and BEAM have both demonstrated the strength of their business models through the downturn," the wealth management unit said in its note. Coca-Cola's strong volume growth and investment initiatives in strategic important markets will benefit the company, while Beam is expected to profit from sales-driven growth of new products and consolidation in the industry.
Similarly, Pepsico and Constellation Brands may have upside potential as 2012's turnaround opportunities, according to the note. "PEP’s profit model has become unbalanced due to a slowdown in profit growth at North America beverages and International," which presents management with investment opportunities to relocate capital and boost sales from its core businesses.
"Constellation Brands is further into its turnaround, having sold assets, pruned SKU’s, and consolidated to one sales force," it added. "Good growth trends in the U.S. wine industry, combined with several factors that could become tailwinds in FY13, create a favorable
risk/reward scenario, in our view."
However, the performance of the beverage industry in 2012, especially in soft drinks and beer, will be in largely dictated by consumption levels in the U.S.