Anheuser-Busch has had its rating downgraded. Bear Stearns said yesterday (30 March) that it has lowered its rating on the brewer to "peer perform" from "outperform," citing continued US beer weakness.

In a research note, analyst Carlos Laboy said: "Recent Beer Institute forecasts for January and February 2005 show real industry weakness and taken in combination with our on-going trade and industry conversations, we project that the softness in US beer that began in early 2003 will continue into 2005 with no clear end in sight."