From: Reuters
Published April 23, 2008 10:12 AM

Anheuser-Busch net income falls

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc <BUD.N> reported lower quarterly profit on Wednesday, as U.S. retailers purchased less beer from wholesalers.

The nation's largest brewer, with brands like Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob, said first-quarter net income fell to $510.9 million from $517.5 million a year ago.

But the company had fewer shares outstanding in the latest quarter, and per-share earnings rose to 71 cents from 67 cents a year ago.

The St. Louis-based brewer faces a host of challenges, including higher costs for energy and grains and a shift in U.S. consumer tastes away from traditional domestic beer toward wine, spirits, foreign beers or small-batch "craft" beers.

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(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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