Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) fell more than 10% on Monday, as investors grew increasingly concerned with the beer titan's earnings prospects.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is getting hit from multiple angles. Its core beer business, already weakened from surging demand for its competitors' hard seltzer drinks, is now facing an even more menacing threat: COVID-19.
The disease caused by the novel coronavirus is spreading around the world, dampening beer sales in the process. People in China and other countries are going to social gatherings less often, including those at bars and sporting events, where much of Anheuser-Busch InBev's sales take place.
The beer giant has already lost more than $170 million in profits so far this year from the COVID-19 outbreak. And with many major sporting events, including the Olympics, likely to be delayed or canceled, more pain probably lies ahead for investors. Management expects Anheuser-Busch InBev's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to fall as much as 10% in the first quarter, in part because of a coronavirus-related downturn in sales.