Heineken (HEI.AS, e28.08) is "supposed to refresh the parts that other beers cannot reach", says Simon Nixon at Breakingviews.com, but its share price over the past few years has been "about as appealing as flat lager".
Exposure to Europe and the US dollar have left it trailing in the wake of more swashbuckling rivals, such as InBev and SABMiller, which have "substantial" exposure to emerging markets.
However, it has been re-rated from a p/e multiple in the "high 20s" to "just over 14 today", and with the worst of its troubles apparently behind it (earnings growth is "likely to match its rivals in 2007"), "that looks cheap". Also, "the lucrative US import market is growing strongly again and the company is bullish about the launch of Heineken Premium Light in the US in March".
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By contrast, InBev is being required to meet "demanding growth forecasts", while SABMiller is engaged in a price war with Anheuser-Busch. Investors may now find that a few shares of Heineken in their portfolios this year are "rather refreshing".
Annunziata was a deputy editor at MoneyWeek, covering financial markets, politics, economics and comment pieces. She then went on to the Daily Telegraph as a lead writer where Annunziata wrote a column on young women’s financial issues. Since then, she has been a member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region in the UK as part of the Conservative Party and Annunziata continues to write for titles as a freelance journalist.
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