Light at the End of the Tunnel for Anheuser-Busch (BUD) Stock?

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Anheuser-Busch (BUD) Stock?

Posted On October 9, 2023 11:22 am

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD), a leading multinational brewing company once hailed as one of the largest firms within its sector, is widely recognized for housing popular brands such as Stella Artois, Beck’s, and Budweiser in its extensive portfolio.

The corporation has a notable history of collaborating with celebrities and social media influencers to enhance its beer promotions. However, its recent partnership with the prominent transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney sparked both condemnation and commendation from various factions, thus generating significant media attention.

This alliance became embroiled in a heated controversy tied to a Bud Light campaign focused on the transgender community. Consequently, amid the media fuss, the brewing giant’s stock declined about 20% in May. Fanning the flames of their troubles, BUD’s layoff of more than 300 U.S. employees accentuated the growing challenges faced by the company.

The Controversy and Its Impact

BUD partnered with Mulvaney to amplify its “Easy Carry Contest,” offering customers a chance to win a grand prize of $15,000 for sharing videos of themselves carrying as many cans of BUD’s beer as possible. To promote the contest, Mulvaney posted a sponsored video on TikTok in April 2023, featuring a Bud Light can adorned with her face, gifted by the company upon the first anniversary of her public declaration as transgender.

However, this instigated severe criticism from conservative anti-trans groups, who perceived this move as Bud Light pushing a certain “agenda.” Consequently, calls for a boycott against the beer brand erupted.

Bud Light’s share of the U.S. beer revenue had plummeted to 8.9% by the week ending on September 9. Likewise, Bud Light sales witnessed a staggering decline of roughly 30% in both volume and dollar worth in the month leading up to September 9, compared to the prior-year period.

Moreover, BUD witnessed a plunge in U.S. revenue in the second quarter, primarily driven by the social media-led boycott. The brewer’s second-quarter revenue in the U.S. saw an alarming 10.5% decline, while operating profits experienced a nearly 30% decrease.

The boycott’s impact stretched far beyond the immediate sphere, impacting BUD’s primary operations and creating ripple effects across its associated enterprises such as breweries, distributors, and labor force. An unfortunate repercussion was the reported bombing threats targeted at select breweries, accompanied by incidents of employee harassment.

The backlash grew so extensively that it prompted HSBC to downgrade BUD’s stock. In June, Mexican lager Modelo Especial dethroned Bud Light, claiming the title of America’s favorite beer, a position Bud Light had defended for over two decades.

Nevertheless, enduring these challenges, BUD enjoyed a…

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