BRUSSELS: Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to buy back $1 billion of shares after fourth-quarter earnings missed estimates as the world’s biggest brewer spent more on marketing to counter weak US consumption.
AB InBev will repurchase the shares this year, the Leuven, Belgium-based maker of Budweiser, Brahma and Corona said Thursday in a statement. Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation, excluding some items, were $5.07 billion, missing the $5.27 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
AB InBev said beer industry volume in the U.S., its largest market, will continue to improve this year after halting a decline in the fourth quarter. Beer is increasingly losing market share there to spirits as a 15-year decline has worsened recently, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. In response, the company is introducing flavored beers and ciders to win over consumers who eschew traditional brews.