Anheuser-Busch: This Stock's for You

Article excerpt

Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. decided to shed some of its

diversified holdings to focus on its core beer business, and the

move has paid off for investors.

In the past 12 months, Anheuser-Busch's stock has jumped 36

percent, doubling the gain of the S&P 500. The stock hit a new

high Monday of 76 and closed yesterday at 75.

With beer sales strong, the St. Louis-based brewer had a 10.6

percent increase in first-quarter earnings per share, and Chief

Financial Officer W. Randolph Baker told financial analysts at a

meeting Thursday that he is "increasingly confident of our

ability to achieve double-digit earnings per share growth this

year."

Anheuser-Busch officials said the company's financial

performance is evidence that last year's restructuring is paying

off.

The restructuring included the closing of its Eagle Snacks

unit; the sale of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team; the

spin-off of its Campbell Taggart baking subsidiary into a

separate company; and the closing of its brewery in Tampa, which

Anheuser-Busch said was its highest-cost brewery. The company

still operates one Florida brewery in Jacksonville.

"As a result of all these actions, the new Anheuser-Busch is a

much From Page C-5 hmore profitable company, with an improved

outlook for future growth," Baker said. …