The Bud Light troubles at Anheuser Busch InBev continue as it redefines target for Argentina hyperinflation



The boycott of Bud Light by U.S. consumers continues, its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev reported Thursday.

Revenue fell 17.3% in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, including a 12.1% decline in sales to retailers, primarily due to the volume decline at Bud Light, the company said.

Sales in the U.S. have tumbled since transgender star Dylan Mulvaney made a social-media post about a personalized can of Bud Light, triggering anger as well as confusion from its customers.

Former President Donald Trump has called for consumers to stop the boycott.

That boycott hasn’t impacted its operations outside the U.S., with worldwide volume on an organic basis down 2.6% even with North American volume down 15.3%. That was a bit weaker than the 2% decline expected by analysts.

What it calls underlying profit fell to $1.66 billion, or 82 cents a share, from $1.74 billion, or 86 cents a share, while revenue rose 6.2% to $14.67 billion. Analysts polled by Visible Alpha expected underlying EPS of 84 cents on revenue of $15.51 billion.

“We felt some trepidation ahead of these results. In the event, we think they were ok,” said analysts at RBC Capital Markets led by James Edwardes Jones.

The brewer changed its definition of organic sales growth to account for Argentina hyperinflation, capping price growth in Argentina to a maximum of 2% per month, and now sees organic EBITDA growth between between 4% and 8%.

The company late Wednesday reached a settlement with the Teamsters union to avoid a strike at U.S. plants.

Anheuser-Busch InBev shares
ABI,
-1.30%

BUD,
-0.97%
slipped 1%, and have dropped about 7% since the Mulvaney controversy erupted.



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