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HSBC upgrades Anheuser-Busch InBev to buy, says stock can surge 30% on premium brands


Anheuser-Busch InBev is now an attractive buying opportunity after shares fell from their highs, according to HSBC. Analyst Carlos Laboy upgraded shares of the Belgian beer maker to buy from hold, and slightly raised the price target of EUR65 from EUR64. It implies that shares can jump 33% from Friday’s closing price, according to the note. The company’s U.S.-listed shares rose 3% in the premarket. “Having lost more than 20% of its value in the past year, we upgrade ABI on valuation, and because revenues and margin pressure should ease into year-end and next year,” Laboy wrote in a Tuesday note. The analyst said that the company is dealing with rising costs through pricing in its premium brands, adding that it’s experiencing a surge of demand in Latin America that is offsetting a decline in the U.S. The analyst expects that AB Inbev and Coca-Cola will expand and take 80% of joint wallet share in Latin America, up from 40%. “Operationally, pricing actions and premiumzation are helping ABI mitigate inflation. Premium brands continue to drive growth, reporting record high volume in 2Q. Brazil, for instance reported 20% y-o-y growth in the premium category, where demand for Corona is outstripping supply by 3x-4x,” read the note. “There is momentum to premium growth as the firm is building brands with better marketing and innovation discipline. On-trade recovery and World Cup should help drive the top-line growth momentum in 2H. We model 8.0% revenue growth and 3.5% EBITDA growth for 2022e. For 2023e, we forecast 6.2% revenue growth and 5.8% EBITDA growth,” Laboy added. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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