Ambev: A bet on beer and Brazil

This subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev dominates the fast-growing markets of South America.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 31, 2011 10:51AM
By Nicholas Vardy, The Bull Market Alert

Our latest trading recommendation is Brazil's Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas (ABV), commonly known as Ambev.

Ambev, a subsidiary of global brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev, is the biggest brewery in South America and the fifth-largest brewery in the world.

Ambev operates in 14 countries and is the leading brewer in Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.

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Ambev is also the largest PepsiCo bottler outside of United States, and sells and distributes PepsiCo products in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Much of Ambev's focus is on Brazil -- the world's third-largest beer market. Ambev controls 70% of the Brazilian beer market and around 40% of the total beverage market.

This strong market position has driven the company's performance recently, and its dominant position in fast-growing Brazil is the key to its future pricing power moving forward.

In addition to it impressive portfolio of products, Ambev is known for its relentless focus on maximizing profits.

By selling higher-margin, premium products and constantly improving productivity and efficiency of its facilities, Ambev has become remarkable at generating shareholder value.

Average businesses typically offer a 12% return on equity (ROE). Terrific businesses generate over 15%.

Ambev's ROE was double that figure -- over 32% in 2010. No wonder the stock held up well even during the market's mood swings in August.

And with Ambev's sales focused on the Q4 summer season (in Brazil), as well as a traditionally strong Q4 in emerging markets in general, I expect this stock to continue moving up between now and the end of the year.

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