Come Wednesday, we'll be able to drink in the first-quarter results from beer behemoth and Inside Value selection Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD). Before the results ring in, though, let's take a look at what investors have been saying about the king of beers. To find insight on this, I turned to the Motley Fool CAPS community. CAPS is a community of more than 27,000 investors sharing their thoughts on more than 4,000 stocks, including Bud.

Up or down?
More than 700 investors have rated Anheuser-Busch so far, and the ratings have landed Bud squarely in the middle of the road.

Overall, 91% of the ratings for Bud have been "outperform." It is slightly more popular with CAPS All-Stars -- those investors that are in the top 20% of all CAPS players -- and got the thumbs-up 92% of the time from that elite group. These ratios are good, but not quite enough to vault Bud past the middle of the pack on CAPS.

Among some comparable beverage stocks, Anheuser-Busch finds itself just south of the middle.


CAPS Rating (out of five)

Compania Cervecerias Unidas (NYSE:CU)


Diageo (NYSE:DEO)


Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas


Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM)




Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP)


Quilmes Industrial (NYSE:LQU)


Wall Street vs. Main Street
Wall Street and Main Street seem to be on pretty much the same page with Bud. Of the 16 analysts that have rated it, eight recommend holding the stock, six say to buy, and two think the stock will underperform the market. But Bud outperformed the market over the last year, so why has it found itself in "hold" land?

Let's see what CAPS players have been saying.

Bull pitch
For the bulls, CAPS All-Star FreethinkerKW submits some of the top reasons to own Anheuser-Busch:

"1. It's the number one beer brand in the USA.
2. It's the number one beer (Bud Light) with 40 million Hispanics in America.
3. It owns 50% of Grupo Modelo, which makes Corona, Modelo Especial, and Pacifico.
4. It owns Harbins, the number four brewery in China.
5. It owns 27% of Tsingtao, the number one brewery in China.
6. It just bought out Rolling Rock beer, a regional favorite, in 2006.
7. It just landed rights to distribute Cambodia's Tiger Beer and the [Netherlands'] Grolsch in the USA.
8. Warren Buffett now owns 4.75% of shares for a $1.7 billion stake.
9. It has the largest and most streamlined distributorship and brewery operations anywhere in the world.
10. It owns its own packaging plants and has the hottest new product innovation, aluminum thermos type bottles. The plant making these revolutionary bottles is running 24/7. Demand outstripped the supply this past summer."

Bear pitch
For the bear contingent, TMFBell counters:

The stock has had a run-up due to speculation that Eddie Lampert will buy the company. This seems doubtful to me -- Budweiser's problems seem to stem more from a shift in consumer demand rather than problems with management.

Who said that?
To see more from the wise Fools who penned these words, and explore the wealth of additional data we've put together on the company, just click here.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can visit Matt on CAPS here, or check out his CAPS blog here. Diageo is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Like Ma Bell, the Fool's disclosure policy has got the ill communication.