Budweiser: In The Tank

Anheuser-Busch Stock Enters Bear Territory Amid Anti-Trans Bud Light Backlash

FORBES – Shares of Bud Light’s parent company are now down more than 20% in the two months since the beer sent personalized memorabilia to social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a seemingly innocuous marketing partnership that’s cost the company billions amid right-wing backlash.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s stock slipped 2% early Wednesday, continuing its dramatic slide against broader market gains and tanking to a new eight-month low of about $53.

Shares of the multinational beer giant have fallen 20% since March 31, the day before Mulvaney shared a video on TikTok showcasing the personalized cans of Bud Light sent to her by the company, commemorating the anniversary of her coming out as transgender.

That set forth a firestorm of controversy among mostly right-wing celebrities, politicians and beer drinkers, including former President Donald Trump, country music singer Kid Rock and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

Anheuser-Busch sales slipped by 10% or more over each of the last four weeks compared to the same week last year, according to NielsenIQ data cited Tuesday by Goldman Sachs.

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Meanwhile, sales for rival Molson Coors are up more than 15% on an annual basis, and shares of the Coors Light and Miller Light parent have gained 19% over the last two months.

BIG NUMBER: $26 billion. That’s how much market capitalization Anheuser-Busch has lost over the last two months.

Despite the company’s stock slide, Wall Street remains fairly bullish on Anheuser-Busch; the nearly three dozen analysts surveyed by FactSet have an average price target of about $67 for the stock, implying roughly 25% upside and projecting it to hit its pre-controversy level.

In a Wednesday note to clients, Bernstein analysts led by Nadine Sarwat said Bud Light’s market share losses appear to be “stabilizing,” maintaining their $68 price target while noting the situation has unexpectedly “officially become a microcosm of U.S. politics … ”

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