Bud Light sales continue to dig in. The next price wars may be.

Bud Light sales show no signs of picking up as the controversy over Dylan Mulvaney continues to simmer, and parent Anheuser-Busch Inbev may now spark a beer price war that could slash industry-wide profits this summer.

Bud Light sales volumes fell 28.4% in the week ended May 13, worse than the 27.7% decline in the prior week, according to Beer Business Daily, which uses NIQ survey data.

Other Anheuser-Busch brands (symbol BUD) are hurting, with volumes of Budweiser Red down 14.9% in the latest week and Michelob Ultra, the company’s strongest US brand, down 6.8%.

Competitors continue to benefit, with Coors Light sales up 16.9% and Miller Lite sales up 15.1%, according to Beer Business Daily.

It’s now been about two months since the conservative backlash and boycott of a Bud Light marketing show featuring transgender influencer Mulvaney erupted and the impact on the brand is still being felt badly.

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Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewing company, is now offering $15 discounts on 24-packs of Bud Light and Budweiser Regular. This can reduce the cost of the case to as little as $5.

Beer Business Daily wrote that “It’s significant that we’re seeing, in fact, $3.49 worth of 24-packs of Bud Light on sale, and it’s not until Memorial Day yet.”

Anheuser-Busch stock fell 0.9% Monday to $58.83, down about 10% since the company reported first-quarter earnings in early May. Barron He has written positively of the company recently, arguing that the company is strong internationally and that Mulvaney’s influence on sales will diminish as the year progresses. The stock was unchanged in early trading on Tuesday.

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Analysts say the problems at Bud Light will sharply reduce the company’s earnings in the United States

“While we recognize that the data may develop further, based on the current data available, we are prudently designing US Ebit (earnings before interest and tax) so that it will decline 26% in fiscal 2023 with no financial recovery,” JPMorgan analyst Jared Dinges wrote in a report. 2024″. Customer Note Tue. Dinges is bullish on Anheuser-Busch stock, arguing that the bad news has already been priced in.

“While we understand the reluctance to add to ABI positions before we have more clarity on the US, based on recent data and our scenario analysis in this note, we believe risk-reward is favorable from here,” Dinges wrote. It has an Overweight rating on Anheuser-Busch stock with a price target of $76.

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BALL said on the earnings conference call that beer is likely to be the most promotionally priced beverage this summer. “If there’s one area you can see or expect some of, it’s probably in the area of ​​the beer alcohol categories specifically, because stomach share is low in that category,” said Dan Fisher, CEO of Ball Corp.

“This may be a summer of promotion not seen since after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when there was so much subsidized beer stock in the trade that it started the price war of all price wars,” Bear Business Daily wrote.

The trade publication added that “big price wars are often triggered by external events—in this case Hurricane Katrina, in this case Mulvaney. The only difference this time around is that the external event only negatively affects one brewer.”

There is talk that brands benefiting from the Bud Light fallout could experience supply chain disruptions this summer as they scramble to meet demand if current trends continue.

Write to Andrew Bary at [email protected]

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