What happened

Shares of Ambev (NYSE:ABEV) were moving higher today after the Latin American subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) posted better-than-expected results in its first-quarter earnings report.

As a result, the stock finished Thursday's session up 11.8%.

A bucket of beers on a deck overlooking the water.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Ambev, which owns a wide range of beer and soft drink brands, said revenue in the quarter rose 27.8% to $3.15 billion, with volume growth of 11.6% and net revenue per hectoliter up 14.5%. That was significantly ahead of the lone analyst forecast at $2.55 billion. The company saw strong growth across much of Latin America, though some markets were impacted by currency fluctuations.

Results were also strong further down the income statement with adjusted EBITDA rising 23.8% to $1.01 billion and earnings per share more than doubling to $0.03. That matched the consensus of two analysts making earnings forecasts.

Eight of the company's top 10 markets delivered growth in the quarter even as it dealt with tightening COVID-19 restrictions in some markets. 

Now what

Ambev did not give specific guidance, but the beverage company said it continued to expect uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, which has recently flared again in Brazil. It also expects continued margin pressure in Brazil due to currency exchange rates. Overall, it sees revenue and EBITDA continuing to improve as it works to approach 2019 levels, though that may not happen until the pandemic ends in that part of the world.

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