UK: JP Morgan reviews InBev, Heineken coverage

By | 11 January 2007

Investment bank JP Morgan has changed its ratings on brewing giants InBev and Heineken.

The broker said today (11 January) that it has downgraded InBev to 'neutral' from 'overweight' while raising Heineken to 'neutral' from 'underweight'.

InBev was one of the strongest performing beverage stocks last year, JP Morgan noted, having risen 12% relative to the drinks sector.

The brewer's target price was also moved, to EUR51.5 (US$66.87) from EUR47.5. The upside to the current share price is "limited", the broker said, and would require either greater efficiency and cost savings, or a marked increase in the top-line growth rate.

Heineken's stock, meanwhile, "has been left behind by the recent rally in the sector", performing below the sector by 7% since October last year, and behind its peers InBev and SABMiller by 11% and 16% respectively. Heineken's lower organic sales growth compared to these two justified the discount, JP Morgan added.

Heineken will announce its full-year results next month, and JP Morgan said it expects the company to meet market expectations on its earnings per share of EUR1.91.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: InBev, Heineken, SABMiller

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