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Bud Light Sales Struggle: AB InBev's Q3 Challenges in the U.S.

consumer discretionary news Oct 31, 2023

Belgian beer kingpin AB InBev posted strong revenue numbers and profit that smashed investor expectations. But U.S. revenue figures continued their sharp nosedive in Q3.

Let's unpack why:

What Happened

AB InBev's main strength came from profits as the company cut costs hard enough to generate a $0.84 EPS. Revenue came in just shy of expectations at $15.72 for the quarter. This represents a 5% increase in revenue YoY, but the lion's share of that growth came from increased sales in Argentina, where inflation has spiked alcohol prices.

The Bud War Continues

Meanwhile, U.S. revenues for AB InBev declined an incredible 14% while sales to retailers fell 17%. Despite the fact that conservative America's war on Bud Light has largely left the headlines, it still very much shows up in BUD's balance sheet. With Bud Light getting appointed as the official beer partner of the UFC, analysts are watching closely to see if U.S. revenues will recover after Q3.

Why It Matters

With alcohol sales in structural decline worldwide, it's really interesting to see how many people are simply not returning to Bud Light after all this controversy died down. Meanwhile, The Street is still convinced this is short-lived and that international growth will be enough for AB InBev, as the stock pulled off a solid 4% rise in early trading. Sometimes revenue and profitability are all that matters.