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Why Anheuser-Busch InBev, PG&E, and Granite Construction Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger - Oct 25, 2019 at 4:32PM

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Despite gains for the market, these stocks lost ground to finish the week.

Friday was a good day on Wall Street, as investors celebrated generally strong earnings performances from high-profile companies. Major benchmarks were up roughly half a percent, with particularly good gains for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite. Yet even in a positive market environment, some stocks weren't able to join in the rally. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -1.50%), PG&E (PCG -1.70%), and Granite Construction (GVA -0.82%) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.

Anheuser-Busch loses its fizz

Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev fell 11% after the beer giant reported disappointing third-quarter results. The maker of Budweiser said that revenue was higher by 2.7% during the period compared to the prior-year quarter, but total volume was down 0.5%. Anheuser-Busch cited headwinds from rising commodity costs and foreign currency impacts, as well as the fact that the year-earlier period had gotten a boost from the timing of marketing expenses related to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The company has noted what it calls the "premiumization" of the beer industry and is working to emphasize its higher-end brands, but investors seem nervous about whether Anheuser-Busch will keep up with its peers.

Three bottles of Budweiser beer.

Image source: Anheuser-Busch.

PG&E deals with new wildfires

California electric utility PG&E saw its stock plunge nearly 31% as investors weighed the impact of recent wildfires in the Golden State. The Kincade fire north of San Francisco is ravaging a large swath of Northern California, and investors fear that PG&E could be to blame after the utility said that it suffered a problem with a transmission tower close to where the fire started. The company has already faced large disputes in its bankruptcy proceedings over its potential exposure to fires in past years. At this point, shareholders seem increasingly resigned to the growing possibility that the stock might be completely wiped out when the utility exits bankruptcy.

Granite crumbles

Finally, shares of Granite Construction dropped almost 29%. The company posted 3% top-line growth in its third-quarter financial report, sending revenue to a new record. However, net income plunged more than 60% from year-ago levels. CEO James Roberts blamed work disputes and cost overruns in its heavy civil operating group for weighing down what was strong core performance elsewhere, as good weather combined with strength in infrastructure construction demand. Granite hopes that it'll be able to right the ship and start moving more assertively in the right direction by 2020, but shareholders appear to want more certainty before they'll regain full confidence in Granite's stock.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV Stock Quote
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV
$53.96 (-1.50%) $0.82
PG&E Corporation Stock Quote
PG&E Corporation
$12.18 (-1.70%) $0.21
Granite Construction Incorporated Stock Quote
Granite Construction Incorporated
$31.52 (-0.82%) $0.26

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