Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The World's Largest Brewers: ups and downs

Just saw some interesting numbers: change in stock prices over the last year on the world's largest brewers from a regular e-letter from www.e-malt.com. Rolling down from the year's best performer to the year's biggest loser:

MolsonCoors -- +4.4%
SABMiller -- -15.7%
Heineken -- -48.2%
Carlsberg -- -60.9%
Anheuser-Busch InBev -- -70.7%

MolsonCoors has been tearing up the pea patch lately, running on big margins from Blue Moon and increased volume on Coors Light, enough to offset losses from the Canadian brands side of the business. Coors has put in place a number of things that are appealing directly to their customers: the 'blue mountain' temperature sensing label, the 'air vent' pouring aid on their cans, and they've done away with the goofy "Twins" advertising and have focused on the beer and the fun.

That all seems silly to most craft drinkers, but you know what? We don't drink Coors Light anyway, so they're not aiming at us. They are aiming at us -- or people who are thinking like us -- with the very understated and smart support they're giving Blue Moon. You gotta be some kind of smart to beat the crap out of the average performance of American/European stocks last year: -42%. Hats off to MolsonCoors.

5 comments:

JP said...

Acutally Lew, its more of a Loon play. The street likes their Canadian beer business and the strong CAD. The Canadian segment remains TAP’s single largest profit driver, at about 55% of total. Although the percentage contribution has shrunk slightly since 2006, due to rapid
growth of the US business. Canadian profits have grown consistently during this period, and continue to do so in 2008. This has been partially fueled by Canadian dollar appreciation,
which remains a benefit in 1H08 (10% of 14% YTD growth coming from currency

Lew Bryson said...

Msybe, and those are some really cool numbers. But Coors's growth in brands and the profitability of Blue Moon have been very strong. Molson's going to have to come through with something other than relying on the vagaries of currency trading. Not something to base a business on. I look long-term.

jp said...

true true I am just passing on what street analysts who like the name are saying and why the stock is despite crappy fundamentals

Russ said...

Thanks for the timely post, Lew. Over on BeerAdvocate today there was a thread about AB-InBev shutting down a brewery in England which led to the usual gripes about InBev--being the Evil Empire that it is to certain folks--coming in and slashing jobs. It got me wondering just how well (or poorly) AB-InBev is doing. Obviously I never like to see people lose jobs, but seeing how poorly AB-InBev performed this past year helps put the closed brewery and subsequent layoffs into perspective. I guess you gotta do something when you're down 70.7%...

Anonymous said...

Russ not only are they huffing and puffing once they closed on the buyout they had to repay the ten billion dollor bridge loan within a few weeks..Carlos Brito Bandito and his hedge fund mercernaries sold ten billion in stock to their european counterparts for half the price they bought out Budweiser stock for..
The bleeding will continue for some time