On March 4 AmBev (ABV) reported fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization grew by 9.1% from the fourth quarter of 2008. Total net sales increased by 13.9% from the year-earlier period on an 11.6% increase in volume in Brazil.
Results were weaker in Canada (volume fell by 5.6%) and the rest of Latin America (volume fell by 2.8%).
The company’s board of directors announced a dividend payment and distribution of interest on capital on April 1 to shareholders of the New York Stock Exchange traded ADR as of March 23. The company had capped dividend distribution in 2009 in order to repay debt.
Absent a big acquisition it’s likely that the cap will be removed in 2010. In 2008 Brazilian shares that underlie the ADR paid a yield of 4.6%. That dropped to 3.3% last year. Itau Securities projects that the yield could climb to 4.7% in 2010.
As of March 11, I’m leaving my target price at $118 by October 2010.
Full disclosure: I own shares of AmBev in my personal portfolio.