10. Companhia de Bebidas das Americas - AmBev (ABV), a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of beer, carbonated soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages in 14 countries across the Americas. On a year-to-date basis, the company gained 48.5%, touching 52-week highs in December.
For the third quarter, net sales scaled up 13% year-over-year, driven by an 8.1% rise in total volumes. Operating income was up 12% during the same period. The company announced a 5-for-1 stock split on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, AmBev has a franchise to produce, sell and distribute PepsiCo (PEP) outside the U.S. The company has also garnered a significant 70% share in the Brazilian beer market. In December, Brazil's Council for Economic Defense approved AmBev's unrestricted use of part of Cerpa do Pará brewery's idle capacity for manufacturing its products during a 12-month period.For full-year 2010, Zacks' earnings per share estimate stands at $6.79, higher than $6.61 predicted a month ago, and a significant 31% rise from 2009 levels. Meanwhile, 2011 EPS is seen at $7.57, up 12% from the prior year. Moreover, since the company is focused on the domestic markets and is based in an emerging market where growth is skyrocketing, S&P has given a positive outlook for the company's performance in the upcoming quarters. The rating agency adds that AmBev's prudent financial strategies and resilient cash flows will support performance further.