Home Featured Wall Street disappointed Constellation beers didn’t benefit more from Bud Light brouhaha

Wall Street disappointed Constellation beers didn’t benefit more from Bud Light brouhaha

Wall Street disappointed Constellation beers didn’t benefit more from Bud Light brouhaha

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Bud Light’s brand-image fallout hasn’t boosted some of its top competitors as much as investors had hoped, judging from the response to Constellation Brands Inc.’s quarterly report Thursday.

Constellation, maker of beers including Modelo Especial, Corona Extra and Pacifico, reported strong growth in beer sales — so strong that it boosted its fiscal 2024 growth projections. It sees net beer sales growing 8% to 9% this fiscal year. The thing is, that wasn’t so different from what it said a year ago, when its second-quarter report forecast beer growth of 8% to 10%.

Some analysts and investors had anticipated even stronger performance, given the troubles encountered by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s Bud Light, which suffered following an anti-trans backlash to an Instagram partnership with influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

“With Bud Light weakness, launch of Modelo Oro, hot weather across the US, we believe the Street was hoping for a higher depletions raise and a higher guidance raise for the year,” Truist Securities analyst Bill Chappell wrote.

Constellation shares were down 3.4% in New York trading at 12:58 p.m. The stock was up 7.6% this year through Wednesday, outpacing a 7.2% decline for the S&P 500 consumer-staples index.

Without mentioning Bud Light by name, Constellation executives talked a lot on the company’s earnings call about how its beer could benefit from so-called shelf resets in which retailers reallocate space to their best-selling brands. Those occur mostly in the spring — meaning many retailers haven’t yet factored in the impact of the Bud Light imbroglio in terms of how they present products to customers.

“Retailers are very smart about this, and they recognize where the growth and velocity is coming from, and that will work strongly to our advantage as those resets occur,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands said, according to a transcript. Overall, he said, the company “expects to gain in the core beer shelf.”

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