Diageo (NYSE:DEO) could be considered a good stock for long-term shareholders. In the past ten years, including the global depression in 2008-2009, Diageo's share price increased from $50.50 per share to more than $129 per share; this marked an annualized gain of 9.83%. Diageo hasn't stopped there, and continues to seek growth initiatives to drive its operating performance in the future.
Emerging markets play a significant role in Diageo's business
The emerging markets play a big role in Diageo's overall business, accounting for as much as 48% of its total revenue. The emerging markets have served the company well, delivering double-digit growth of 11% in revenue and 18% in operating profit in fiscal 2013. Diageo also managed to grow the volume of its strategic brands by 6% in these developing markets. Its operating margin also improved by 170 basis points, driven by a higher operating margin in Latin America, emerging Asia, and the Caribbean. In the past three years, the company has invested more than £2.5 billion ($4 billion) to acquire leading local brands as an easy gateway to gain shares of emerging markets.
In the future, Diageo plans to keep its focus on the growing middle-class and wealthy customers in different emerging markets, including China, India, Turkey, and Brazil. In the next decade, the number of high-net-worth individuals is estimated to grow by 400 million, while the number of emerging middle-class consumers will soar by 1.3 billion. That great global demographic trend represents huge growth opportunities for Diageo. The company will grasp these opportunities by bringing its global brands into new categories, putting a premium on its local leaders, and broadening its reach to both high-net-worth individuals and middle-class consumers.
SABMiller considered developing markets as its main source of growth
One of Diageo's peers, SABMiller (NASDAQOTH:SBMRY), also delivered good growth in emerging markets. The company is the second largest brewer in the world, operating in 75 countries with more than 200 brands. The majority of its revenue, $7.82 billion, or 22.6% of the total revenue, was derived from Latin America, while the Asia Pacific, South Africa, and Africa combined generated more than $15.5 billion in sales in 2013. In the six months ended on Sept. 30, 2013, the company experienced a 1% volume organic growth driven by good growth in Africa. This offset the declines in developed markets including Europe and North America. On a currency neutral basis, Africa enjoyed the highest organic growth of 11%, while the growth of South Africa and Latin America came in at 7% and 5%, respectively. Looking forward, SABMiller considers developing markets to be its main source of business growth.
AB InBev expands its presence in China
In the first nine months of 2013, Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) experienced the declining volume (as compared to 2012) in most of its operating regions except the Asia Pacific. In fact, the Asia Pacific is the only region that enjoyed positive organic growth; it showed growth of 8.8% in total volume, driven by the rise in the company's Chinese business. To expand its business in China, AB InBev agreed to acquire five breweries in several different regions for around $1.05 billion in total. If all those transactions are completed as planned, the company could gain an additional capacity of 10 million hectoliters in the Chinese market.
My Foolish take
With the focus on emerging markets, all three of these global brewing businesses could deliver decent growth for their operating performance in the long run. As a result, all three companies could fit well in the consumer goods portfolios of long-term investors. Income investors might prefer Diageo over the other two companies due to it having the highest dividend yield of the three, coming in at 2.90%, while the dividend yields of SABMiller and AB InBev are only 1.90% and 1.30%, respectively.