US: A-B executives cash in big on share sales

By | 2 August 2006

Six executives at Anheuser-Busch have sold more than US$24m worth of shares in the brewer.

The executives - including chairman August A. Busch III - sold over 512,000 shares in the past week, for an average price of US$47.94. The transactions were confirmed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Busch sold the largest amount of stock - 300,000 at an average price of US$47.92 each. The sale netted the chairman around US$14.4m. Busch still has direct ownership of a further 1.45m shares, while indirectly - through his wife, his 401(k) plan and various trusts - he holds another 3.21m shares.

Speaking to Dow Jones yesterday (1 August), a spokesperson for the brewer said; "Anheuser-Busch executives make decisions to buy or sell company shares for personal reasons, and are allowed to buy or sell company shares when public information about the company is current."

"Many of the transactions involve the exercise of employee stock options that were granted many years ago, and all of our executive officers continue to have substantial holdings in company stock," the spokesperson added.

Last week, the Budweiser brewer posted a 3.9% rise in first-half net income to US$1.1bn, on the back of a 5.7% increase in net sales. The figures were driven by revitalised domestic beer sales and an impressive performance by Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer in which A-B holds a 50% stake.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: A-B, Grupo Modelo

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