UK: Rating shift for SABMiller

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SABMiller has seen its share rating upgraded. UBS has raised its recommendation for the brewer to 'buy' from 'neutral.' The move follows the announcement earlier today (19 May) of strong full-year figures by the London-based company.

SABMiller this morning posted pre-tax profit of US$2.19bn, beating analysts' expectations of between US$2bn and US$2.1bn and last year's US$1.39bn.

UBS noted that consensus-beating EPS was driven by better-than-expected performances in South Africa, Europe and Central America, with Miller and Africa and Asia in-line.

UBS said that it believes the company is in the early stages of a volume pick up from the rest of Africa supported by underlying GDP growth. In Europe, UBS said, the brewer is taking share in key markets such as Poland. While UBS predicts a tough year for profit growth in the US, the broker emphasised that Miller only accounts for 10% of its five-year incremental EBITA growth.

UBS also raised its target price for SABMiller to 1,000 pence from 940p.

JP Morgan, however, maintained its 'overweight' stance on the company, saying that the brewer has the best organic sales and profit growth rate in the industry while having a rating still below its lower growth peers.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller

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