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Five Beer Stocks to Invest in This Summer

Beer stocks didn’t do so great during the pandemic. But as restrictions lift and barbecues are fired back up, some are posied to rebound and then some.
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Beer stocks are poised to become a lot more interesting for investors. Many of them are selling at a discount. But that might not be the case for much longer.

It’s widely reported that during the pandemic, drinking was up. Way up. Somewhat surprisingly though, folks weren’t turning to their usual tipple while quarantined. With few options for “adventure” at hand, many turned to their local liquor store for a sense of exploration. And it’s evident that some chances were taken.

During the pandemic, brandy sales shot up 43%. Whiskey sales went up 39%. Fortified wine sales (like port and madeira) raised 51%. And flavored wine sales grew by a whopping 73%. All of these stats come from Ibotta analysis. Now, you could make an argument that drinkers were just drinking more of what they like. But here’s the kicker: Beer sales are down. Way down in some areas of the market.

Overall, U.S. beer volume sales were down 3% in 2020. Craft brewer sales dropped off by 9% though. And the amount of money spent on craft brews dipped a massive 22%. The pandemic hit the beer industry pretty hard. But there’s good reason to believe it won’t be down for long. When folks are able to scratch the itch of adventure via ways beyond the bottle, we’ll see a return to old habits. And it just so happens that we’ve entered the time frame when old habits are most likely to return.

Beer-Drinking Season

Memorial Day kicks off a potentially profitable trend for investors. Namely, beer-drinking season. Matthew Carr, the Chief Trends Strategist at the aptly named Profit Trends, pointed out this phenomenon almost a decade ago. And it rings as true today as it did back then… if not more so. As Matthew noted…

You see, Memorial Day weekend is when Americans really start breaking out their summer equipment…

Few things go better with sitting outside, enjoying the warm weather and the company of friends than a nice cold one.

Following Memorial Day, there’s Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Then after that, we have Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, New Year’s and the Super Bowl. These are all among the top beer-drinking days of the year. So, these days, it’s expected that beer-drinking season will stretch from Memorial Day all the way to the Super Bowl. And that means this can be a very profitable time of year for beer companies… and shareholders.

Five Beer Stocks for Beer-Drinking Season

  • Ambev (NYSE: ABEV)
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD)
  • Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM)
  • Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ)
  • Molson Coors Beverage (NYSE: TAP)

Ambev

One of the largest brewers in Latin America, Ambev is the largest Brazilian company in terms of market cap. It’s also the third-largest in the entire Southern Hemisphere. And yet, its stock is trading for a pittance.

Ambev’s 2020 fiscal year profits fell by 3.7%. And that’s naturally driven down its share price a bit. But the company’s sale volume was impacted greatly by regional restrictions related to the pandemic. Short term, it’s uncertain as to when restrictions in all 16 countries Ambev operates will be relaxed. However, long term, Ambev is well-positioned with its focus on Central and Latin America, which are made up of several emerging economies. A growing middle class and high rates of economic growth make Ambev a beer stock to keep a very close eye on.

Anheuser-Busch InBev

The largest brewer in the world has a veritable chokehold on the industry. With more than 500 beer brands in its product line, the company makes 17 individual beers that generate more than $1 billion in annual sales. And it owns half of the 10 highest-selling beer brands in the world. Nonetheless, the pandemic hit InBev pretty hard. But it’s well-positioned for a rebound when backyard barbecues return.

Household names like Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois are sure to be filling up plenty of coolers this summer. InBev is also making some major headway into the $3 billion hard seltzer industry. It currently offers Bud Light Seltzer, BL Lemonade Seltzer, BON V!V, Natty Light Seltzer and Michelob Ultra Seltzer. It will also be introducing Travis Scott’s hard seltzer line CACTI to the market. Additionally, the reopening of neighborhood bars and restaurants should play a major role in invigorating the sales of both old and new product lines. That makes this a beer stock to pick up before the sales figures are released at the end of the quarter.

Boston Beer Company

The maker of Sam Adams lager has continued to defy logic as its revenue continues to rise at breakneck speed. The company, which started with just a simple Vienna lager, has continuously managed to stay a step ahead of much of the competition.

Before the rising interest in ciders, Boston Beer had several on the market. It launched a line of hard iced teas way back in 2001 under the name Twisted Tea. And the company was right on pace with White Claw when it introduced its first hard seltzer under the name Truly in 2016. Now, Boston Beer stock isn’t a cheap one. But thanks to advances in investment possibilities, you don’t need to shell out $1,000 for a full share of this beer stock. Using trading apps like Stockpile or Robinhood, you can now invest in fractional shares. (Several discount brokerages allow it as well.) So even a $20 investment can grow in value just as quickly as a larger one. And that makes this one of the more appealing beer stocks on our list.

Constellation Brands

Constellation is one of the more diversified picks on our list of beer stocks. It produces and distributes a wide array of beer, wine and spirits. And that diversification has helped it not just withstand the pandemic but also prosper during it.

Even though its stock price is up only 10% on the year (about 2% less than the S&P 500), it has outperformed consumer staples. And the ace up its sleeve is a $4 billion investment in Canopy Growth. Canopy and its U.S. counterpart, Acreage Holdings (OTC: ACRHF), are launching THC-infused beverages in California and Illinois this summer. This could be the next big thing in the industry. According to Matthew Carr…

Infused beverages are seen as a game changer for the U.S. market. And the segment offers the highest growth potential not only in 2021 but in the years ahead…
Now, cannabis-infused beverages are still in the early stages…
But this is one of the product launches we’ve been waiting a couple of years for.

Whether for its beer, wine, spirits, or forthcoming cannabis-infused line of products, Constellation Brands is definitely a beer stock to consider padding your portfolio with.

Molson Coors Beverage

This legendary brewer was founded way back in 1873. And it has since grown into one of the largest brewers in the U.S. With household names like Miller, Miller Lite, Crispin Cider, Blue Moon and, of course, Coors and Molson, this juggernaut has been making inroads in international markets. The company has made strong moves in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa of late. However, much of this progress is yet to be realized due to pandemic lockdowns. But when restrictions fade, Molson Coors profits should brighten exponentially. And that makes this one of our favorite beer stocks to consider investing in.

The Bottom Line on Beer Stocks

Beer stocks are most often considered a long-term play. And they can certainly operate as such. They’re also often thought of as recession-proof investments… though that was before lockdown-induced recessions were a consideration.

The pandemic hit many of the largest beer makers pretty hard. But knocking back profits should be only a temporary issue. Beer has been around far too long to simply fade into the background. And really, who’s drinking brandy at this summer’s family get-together?

If you’d like to stay on top of the latest market action while also getting wind of market news before it moves the markets, we suggest signing up for Profit Trends. In this free e-letter, Chief Trends Strategist Matthew Carr helps investors find new investment opportunities before they gain momentum or media attention… which can lead to outsized gains and blooming portfolios.

The post Five Beer Stocks to Invest in This Summer appeared first on Investment U.

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AstraZeneca antibody cocktail fails to prevent Covid-19 symptoms in large trial

AstraZeneca said a late-stage trial failed to provide evidence that the company’s Covid-19 antibody therapy protected people who had contact with an infected person from the disease, a small setback in its efforts to find alternatives to vaccines.

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Astra antibody cocktail fails to prevent COVID-19 symptoms in large trial

(Reuters; )

June 15 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said on Tuesday a late-stage trial failed to provide evidence that its COVID-19 antibody therapy protected people who had contact with an infected person from the disease, a small setback in its efforts to find alternatives to vaccines.

The study assessed whether the therapy, a cocktail of two types of antibodies, could prevent adults who had been exposed to the virus in the past eight days from developing COVID-19 symptoms.

The therapy, AZD7442, was 33% effective in reducing the risk of people developing symptoms compared with a placebo, but that result was not statistically significant — meaning it might have been due to chance and not the therapy.

The Phase III study, which has not been peer reviewed, included 1,121 participants in the United Kingdom and the United States. The vast majority, though not all, were free of the virus at the start of the trial.

Results for a subset of participants who were not infected to begin with was more encouraging but the primary analysis rested on results from all participants.

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

“While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic illness, we are encouraged by the protection seen in the PCR negative participants following treatment with AZD7442,” AstraZeneca Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos said in a statement.

The company is banking on further studies to revive the product’s fortunes. Five more trials are ongoing, testing the antibody cocktail as treatment or in prevention.

The next one will likely be from a larger trial testing the product in people with a weakened immune system due to cancer or an organ transplant, who may not benefit from a vaccine.

TARGETED ALTERNATIVES

AZD7442 belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies which mimic natural antibodies produced by the body to fight off infections.

Similar therapies developed by rivals Regeneron (REGN.O) and Eli Lilly (LLY.N) have been approved by U.S. regulators for treating unhospitalised COVID patients.

European regulators have also authorised Regeneron’s therapy and are reviewing those developed by partners GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Vir Biotechnology (VIR.O) as well as by Lilly and Celltrion (068270.KS).

Regeneron is also seeking U.S. authorisation for its therapy as a preventative treatment.

But the AstraZeneca results are a small blow for the drug industry as it tries to find more targeted alternatives to COVID-19 inoculations, particularly for people who may not be able to get vaccinated or those who may have an inadequate response to inoculations.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, which has faced a rollercoaster of challenges with the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine, is also developing new treatments and repurposing existing drugs to fight the virus.

AstraZeneca also said on Tuesday it was in talks with the U.S. government on “next steps” regarding a $205 million deal to supply up to 500,000 doses of AZD7442. Swiss manufacturer Lonza (LONN.S) was contracted to produce AZD7442.

Shares in the company were largely unchanged on the London Stock Exchange.

The full results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal, the company said.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

 

Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/astrazeneca-says-its-antibody-treatment-failed-in-preventing-covid-19-exposed-2021-06-15

 

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Former FDA Head Takes on Exec Role at Flagship’s Preemptive Health Initiative

Stephen Hahn, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under former President Donald Trump, took on a new role as chief medical officer of a new health security initiative launched by Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences venture firm…

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Former FDA Head Takes on Exec Role at Flagship’s Preemptive Health Initiative

 

Stephen Hahn, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under former President Donald Trump, has taken on a new role as chief medical officer of a new health security initiative launched by Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences venture firm that incubates and curates biopharma companies.

First announced Monday, Flagship’s Preemptive Medicine and Health Security initiative aimed at developing products that can help people before they get sick. This division will focus on infectious disease threats and pursue bold treatments for existing diseases, including cancer, obesity, and neurodegeneration. 

In a brief statement, Hahn, who served as commissioner from December 2019 until January 2021, said the importance of investing in innovation and preemptive medications has never been more apparent. 

“In my career I have been a doctor and a researcher foremost and it is an honor to join Flagship Pioneering in its efforts to prioritize innovation, particularly in its Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative. The more we can embrace a “what if …” approach the better we can support and protect the health and well-being of people here in the U.S. and around the world,” Hahn said in a statement. 

During his time at the FDA, Hahn was at the forefront of the government’s effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. His office oversaw the regulatory authorization of antivirals, antibody therapeutics and vaccines, as well as diagnostics and other tools to battle the novel coronavirus. 

Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Hahn bore the brunt of verbal barbs aimed at the FDA by the former president for not rushing to authorize a vaccine for COVID-19 ahead of the November 2020 election. The second vaccine authorized by the FDA for COVID-19 was developed by Moderna, a Flagship company. 

Prior to his confirmation as FDA Commissioner, Hahn, a well-respected oncologist, served as chief medical executive of the vaunted The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Hahn was named deputy president and chief operating officer in 2017. In that role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the cancer center, which includes managing more than 21,000 employees and a $5.2 billion operating budget. He was promoted to that position two years after joining MD Anderson as division head, department chair and professor of Radiation Oncology. Prior to MD Anderson, Hahn served as head of the radiation oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Flagship Founder and Chief Executive Officer Noubar Afeyan said the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down economies and caused the deaths of more than 3.8 million people across the world was an important reminder that health security is a top global priority. In addition, the ongoing pandemic brings into “stark focus” the importance of preemptive medications. 

Hahn, who helmed the FDA for three years and before that served as chief medical executive at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has extensive experience overseeing clinical and administrative programs. Afeyan said the new division would benefit from Hahn’s experience as FDA Commissioner and help steer the Preemptive Medicine and Health Security initiative as it explores Flagship’s “growing number of explorations and companies in this emerging field.”

It is not unusual for former FDA heads to take prominent roles with companies. For example, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s first FDA Commissioner, took a position on the Pfizer Board of Directors weeks after departing his government role. He has also taken positions on other boards since then, including Aetion, FasterCures and Illumina.

 

BioSpace source:

https://www.biospace.com/article/former-fda-head-stephen-hahn-takes-cmo-role-at-flagship-pioneering-preemptive-health-initiative-

 

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosts first test of Live Audio Rooms in US

In April, Facebook announced a slew of new audio products, including its Clubhouse clone, called Live Audio Rooms, which will be available across both Facebook and Messenger. Since May, Facebook has been publicly testing the audio rooms feature in Taiwan.

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In April, Facebook announced a slew of new audio products, including its Clubhouse clone, called Live Audio Rooms, which will be available across both Facebook and Messenger. Since May, Facebook has been publicly testing the audio rooms feature in Taiwan with public figures, but today the company hosted its first public test of Live Audio Rooms in the U.S. The event itself was hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who chatted with fellow execs and creators.

Joining Zuckerberg were Facebook VP and Head of Facebook Reality Labs Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Head of Facebook App Fidji Simo and three Facebook Gaming creators, including StoneMountain64, QueenEliminator and TheFierceDivaQueen.

Image Credits: Facebook screenshot

The creators used their time in the Audio Room to talk more about their gaming journeys on Facebook, what kind of games they were streaming and other gaming-related matters. Zuckerberg also briefly teased new gaming features, including a new type of post, coming soon, called “Looking for Players.” This post type will help creators find others in the community to play games with while they’re streaming.

In addition, badges that are earned from livestreams will now carry over to fan groups, Zuckerberg said, adding that it was a highly requested feature by creators and fans alike.

Fan groups will also now become available to all partnered creators on Facebook Gaming, starting today, and will roll out to others in the coming weeks.

Image Credits: Facebook screenshot

The experience of using the Live Audio Room is very much like what you’d expect on another platform, like Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. The event’s hosts appear in rounded profile icons at the top of the screen, while the listeners appear in the bottom half of the screen, as smaller icons. In between is a section that includes people followed by the speakers.

The active speaker is indicated with a glowing ring in shades of Facebook blue, purple and pink. If verified, a blue check appears next to their name.

Listeners can “Like” or otherwise react to the content as it streams live using the “Thumbs Up” button at the bottom of the screen. And they can choose to share the Audio Room either in a Facebook post, in a Group, with a friend directly or through other apps.

Image Credits: Facebook screenshot

A toggle switch under the room’s three-dot “more” menu lets you turn on or off auto-generated captions, for accessibility. From here, you can also report users or any issues or bugs you encountered.

The Live Audio Room today did not offer any option for raising your hand or joining the speakers on stage — it was more of a “few-to-many” broadcast experience.

Before today, TechCrunch received a couple of tips from users who reported seeing the Audio Rooms option appear for them in the Facebook app. However, the company told us it had only tested Live Audio Rooms in the U.S. with employees.

During the test period, Live Audio Rooms are only available on iOS and Android, we’re told.

Zuckerberg also used today’s event to talk more broadly about Facebook’s plans for the creator economy going forward.

“I think a good vision for the future is one where a lot more people get to do creative work and work that they enjoy, and fewer people have to do work that they just find a chore. And, in order to do that, a lot of what we need to do is basically build out a bunch of these different monetization tools,” explained Zuckerberg. “Not all creators are going to have the same business model. So having the ability to basically use a lot of different tools like Fiji [Simo] was talking about — for some people it might be, Stars or ad revenue share or subscriptions or selling things or different kinds of things like that — that will be important and part of making this all add up.”

He noted also that the tools Facebook is building go beyond gaming, saying that Facebook intends to support journalists, writers and others — likely a reference to the company’s upcoming Substack clone, Bulletin, expected to launch later this month.

Zuckerberg additionally spoke about how the company won’t immediately take a cut of the revenue generated from creators’ content.

“Having this period where we’re not taking a cut and more people can get into these kinds of roles, I think is going to be a good thing to do — especially given how hard hit a lot of parts of the economy have been with COVID and the pandemic,” he said.

More realistically, of course, Facebook’s decision to not take an immediate cut of some creator revenue is a decision it’s making in order to help attract more creators to its service, in the face of so much competition across the industry.

Clubhouse, for example, is currently wooing creators with a payments feature, where creators keep 100% of their revenue. And it’s funding some creators’ shows. Twitter, meanwhile, is tying its audio product Spaces to its broader set of creator tools, which now include newsletters, tips and, soon, a subscription platform dubbed Super Follow.

Zuckerberg didn’t say during today’s event when Live Audio Rooms would be available to the public, but said the experience would roll out to “a lot more people soon.”

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