News: InBev hurts AB; all beer sales up worldwide

inbev-logoAnheuser-Busch Cos Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit fell 5.7 percent due to charges for its pending sale to InBev SA, but sales rose in the quarter and the nation’s largest brewer gained market share. The maker of Bud Light and Budweiser said it earned $666.1 million, or 90 cents a share in the three-month period ending Sept. 30. That compares with profit of $706.7 million, or 95 cents a share, a year earlier. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch said its earnings include pretax charges of $166.2 million associated with its sale to the Belgian brewer and a retirement program, and gains of $15.3 million from the sale of distribution rights for Grolsch. When stripping those out, the company earned $1.05 a share, which beat analyst estimates by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters. Analysts generally exclude one-time items. Net sales rose to $4.92 billion from $4.62 billion last year, ahead of analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. Anheuser-Busch shareholders are set to vote on the deal next Wednesday. InBev shareholders have already approved the deal.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch rose 45 cents, less than 1 percent, to $64.08 in morning trading Thursday. The company said its U.S. shipments to wholesalers rose 2.3 percent in the quarter and sales to retailers grew 3.6 percent.

Worldwide beer volume rose 3 percent in the quarter.

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