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US: Disappointing Q2 hits AB ratings

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Anheuser-Busch has seen its share recommendation reviewed by several investment banks following the release of disappointing Q2 figures yesterday (28 July).

Citigroup Smith Barney started the ball rolling by downgrading the brewer to 'sell' from 'hold.' "This is the fourth time management has lowered its '05 guidance and we are concerned it may not be the last," the broker said. Its future looks "fairly bleak," the broker added.

Banc of America Securities then lowered AB's price target to US$42 from US$48. "This will take time and money to fix," the bank said in a research note.

Finally, Morgan Stanley also cut the US company's price target to US$48 from US$52. The brokerage has an 'equal-weight' rating on AB's stock.

The president and chief executive of Anheuser-Busch, Patrick Stokes, said yesterday: "Both the company and the domestic beer industry experienced volume declines and higher cost pressures." Net sales for the quarter rose by only 0.2% to US$4.018bn from US$4.010bn, the company said.


Sectors: Beer & cider

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