I have not covered Anheuser-Busch stock nearly as frequently as some of the other companies that have the top slots in a consumer market segment. My hesitation for covering the stock has been a product of the Belgium headquarters which require heavy dividend taxation regardless of whether you make the investment in a regular brokerage account or a tax shelter, and the company’s staggering debt load. They have $51 billion in debt.
Last August, I argued that Anheuser-Busch would be unlikely candidate for significant earnings growth and dividend growth for the medium term, as I publicly disagreed with analysts calling for 9% annual growth. I made that prediction because I saw revenues stagnate, and I knew that retained earnings would be needed to bring the debt down to more manageable.