UK: JP Morgan reviews InBev, Heineken coverage
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.
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UBS has increased its 2007 growth estimates for Heineken. However, in a research note the investment bank said it was maintaining its "neutral 1" rating on the Dutch brewer....
InBev has confirmed that its subsidiary Immobrew could accept an offer from a buyer within the week....
Diageo has dismissed, yet again, speculation that it is considering selling its Guinness beer brand....
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has warned that top brewers in the US will be facing tough conditions for the foreseeable future....
Heineken and FEMSA have extended their tie-up in Brazil....
Heineken's group commerce director will leave the business due to "differing views" with the brewer's CEO....
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