Global beer and alcohol giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV Sponsored ADR Report plunged on Friday after the company reported third-quarter revenue that missed analysts' forecasts due in large part to slowing sales in Asia, and also warned that future profit growth will be more "moderate."
AB InBev fell as much as 11% in European trading after a drop in beer shipments in China and the U.S. took the fizz out of its quarterly profit growth. The maker of Budweiser beer and other iconic brands also lowered its full-year earnings forecast. The shares were down 8.64%, or $7.91 a share, at $83.69 in Friday morning New York trading.
The company posted third-quarter earnings of $1.22 a share, above the 77 cents it earned in the comparable year-ago quarter and in line with analysts' forecasts, but revenue of $13.1 billion, higher than the $12.9 billion it brought in a year ago, was well below analysts' forecasts of $13.78 billion.
AB InBev also warned that future profit growth will be more "moderate," a switch from its previous guidance of "strong" profit growth, amid continued sales pressure in China.
"Overall, we remain confident in our strategy and the fundamental strength of our business, though we now expect moderate (earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization) EBITDA growth in FY19 given the additional headwinds faced in 3Q19 which we anticipate will continue into 4Q19," the company said.
AB InBev NV's Asian unit was partially spun off to investors last month with a capital raise of roughly $5 billion -- about half of its planned $9.8 billion sale which was postponed in July when it pulled the IPO in favor of a sale of its Australian division for around $11.3 billion.
Anheuser-Busch raised the idea of listing its minority stake in Budweiser Brewing APAC earlier this year, telling investors on a conference call following its first-quarter earnings that the move would help lower the group's debt load.
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