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AB InBev Rises on Q1 Numbers

Shares of Belgium’s AB InBev (NYSE:BUD) hiked Wednesday morning after the company posted higher revenue and profit in the first quarter, as analysts said it had escaped the drag from a year-long boycott of its Bud Light brand relatively unscathed.

The world’s biggest brewer, whose brands include Corona and Stella Artois, notched a 2.6% revenue increase year-on-year to $14.55 billion in the first quarter, narrowly ahead of analyst estimates. That was despite a 0.6% drop in volumes that the brewer sold.

Underlying profit attributable to shareholders was higher at $1.5 billion, also above an LSEG-compiled consensus.

A social media-led campaign against Bud Light in response to a sponsorship partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney started in April 2023, making this the last quarter likely to be negatively impacted by a year-on-year comparison.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump in February urged his followers on social media to give the company a “second chance.”

The furore toppled the brand’s status as the best-selling U.S. beer, but also generated criticism of the company for failing to support Mulvaney. It has prompted wider discussion in the advertising industry about corporations fearing backlash for promoting diversity or inclusivity.

Shares in BUD jumped $2.54, or 4.2%, early Wednesday to $63.11.

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