Domestic Beer Sales Brighten Anheuser's Quarter - TheStreet

Domestic Beer Sales Brighten Anheuser's Quarter

The company says net sales rose 4% to $3.77 billion in the second quarter.
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said second-quarter earnings and revenue rose from last year as a result of growth in its domestic beer business, and the company's board voted to increase the dividend on its common stock.

The company earned $633 million, or 75 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $587 million, or 66 cents a share, last year. Net sales rose 4% to $3.77 billion from $3.63 billion a year ago.

Domestic revenue per barrel rose 3.5% in the second quarter. Domestic beer sales-to-wholesalers volume increased 0.7% for the quarter, while wholesaler sales-to-retailers volume advanced 0.3%.

"We are confident of achieving full-year 2003 earnings per share growth in the 12% to 13% range," Anheuser-Busch said in a press release. "In addition, we remain confident in our ability to consistently achieve our double-digit earnings per share growth objective over the long term, targeting 12% growth in 2004."

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for a profit of 75 cents in the second quarter. For the full year, the consensus forecast is $2.48 a share. The company earned $2.20 in 2002.

International beer sales volume was down 4.7% in the second quarter, mainly because of the SARS outbreak in China, the company said. In recent weeks sales in China have rebounded. Worldwide Anheuser-Busch beer sales volume increased 0.3% for the second quarter.

Additionally, Anheuser-Busch said its board raised the quarterly dividend on the company's common stock to 22 cents from 19.5 cents, an increase of 12.8%. The new dividend rate is payable Sept. 9 to shareholders of record Aug. 11.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch closed Wednesday at $51.10 on the

New York Stock Exchange