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BUD Toasts Earnings Beat

Shares of top U.S. beermaker Anheuser-Busch (BUD) made modest gains in a turbulent market Wednesday, after topping Wall Street's expectations for third-quarter revenue and profit.

The St. Louis-based brewer of Budweiser beer posted net income of $707 million, or 95 cents a share, vs. $638 million, or 82 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The company reported net sales of $4.62 billion, vs. $4.28 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 92 cents a share on revenue of $4.51 billion.

Anheuser-Busch reported strong sales both in the U.S. and abroad. Domestic beer sales grew 6.7%, due to beer sale volume growth of 2% and a 3.1% increase in revenue per barrel, thanks to a price increase and "favorable brand mix," the company said. International sales leaped 16%, thanks to strong sales in China, Mexico and Canada.

Shares closed up 32 cents, or 0.6%, to $51.87.

The strong results come amid challenging times for brewers, who face rising commodity costs and an increasingly fragmented marketplace with the rise of microbrews.

Anheuser-Busch also faces stiffer U.S. competition from a strengthened competitor, as rivals MolsonCoors Brewing (TAP) and SABMiller PLC (SBMRY) earlier this month announced plans to merge .

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