Jefferies downgrades Anheuser Busch: 'Some disappointment' likely in earnings

  • Jefferies downgrades Anheuser Busch Inbev's stock to underperform.
  • Global brew competition "could lead to some disappointment on recovery potential resulting in a recalibration of earnings prospects," Jefferies' Edward Mundy says.
  • Jefferies also cut its price target on the maker of Budweiser to $62 a share.
A customer shops in a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer shops in a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois.

Jefferies on Wednesday downgraded its outlook on Anheuser Busch Inbev's stock to underperform, saying the brewing company is facing heavy global competition, hurting any near-term growth.

"Market share pressures could lead to some disappointment on recovery potential resulting in a recalibration of earnings prospects," Jefferies' Edward Mundy said in a note to investors.

Jefferies estimates that the maker of Budweiser dominates in 72 percent of its market positions, ahead of fellow global brands Heineken at 51 percent and Carlsberg at 45 percent.

"While long term we would view ABI's market positions as a source of durable competitive advantage, in the near term, there is the risk of market share disruption, especially in the USA, Brazil, [South] Africa and possibly Colombia from 2019 onwards," Mundy said.

Jefferies also cut its price target on Anheuser Busch to $62 a share.

Anheuser Busch shares fell 2.8 percent Wednesday from Tuesday's close of $72.52 a share. While Mundy praised Anheuser Busch saying it has had "an exceptional decade of growth," the stock topped out at $133 a share in September 2016 and has declined more than 41 percent since then.