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
Anheuser-Busch officials said the company's financial
performance is evidence that last year's restructuring is paying
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. …