A Máquin: ABI’s Surprising Quarter

Anheuser-Busch's organic shipment volumes in the United States were down 5.1% in the third quarter. That's pretty terrible. But that really doesn't tell the whole story. Sales-to-retailers were down only 2.8%, which was a better performance than most folks thought, against tough comparisons due to cycling the Bud Light Lime rollout and price increase timing. It also means they likely gained a little share. So why the huge discrepancy between shipments and STRs? It suggests a fairly large reduction in distributor inventories. Indeed, ABI said in their trading statement that weak summer sales resulted in them shipping less beer to keep distributor inventories in check. No loading of the trade here to make their numbers . that's one bit of good news

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