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Why Anheuser-Busch InBev Stock Fell 20% in March

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – Apr 3, 2020 at 7:41AM

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Beer sales abruptly dried up as public entertainment events were canceled across the country.

What happened

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD 1.26%) shares underperformed a weak market last month by dropping 20% compared to a 12.5% decline in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The slump added to significant short-term losses for shareholders, who are down 46% since the start of 2020.

Friends having a drink at a bar.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The global beer giant reported lackluster operating results on the last trading day of February, with sales volumes rising just 1% in 2019. Yet investors were more concerned with the COVID-19 outbreak and its dampening effect on beer demand.

InBev lost several major revenue streams beginning in mid-March when social distancing efforts ramped up in North America. These included the temporary closure of most bars, restaurants, sporting venues, and concert halls. Like beverage peers Coca-Cola and Molson Coors, InBev generates a significant amount of sales from these "on-premises" sales, which have essentially ended for the time being.

Now what

The good news is the owner of the Bud and Michelob brands is sure to see higher sales from the retailing side of the business thanks to spiking consumer demand at supermarkets. Look for the company to highlight those wins, while detailing its cash position, when it announces fiscal first-quarter results on May 7.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos 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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Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV Stock Quote
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV
$45.73 (1.26%) $0.57

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