AmBev Is One Way To Play Brazil Strength

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Recently, Brazil passed the U.S. on a key gauge for the first time.

Credit default swaps, which peg the cost to insure debt against default, are 41.2 basis points on Brazilian bonds vs. 49.7 on U.S. bonds, Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Wednesday.

Brazil’s economic growth also is faster than that of the States. Brazil grew GDP 7.5% last year vs. 2.8% for the U.S., according to the CIA’s World Factbook.

Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (ABV), or AmBev, is one way to play Brazil. The company makes beer and soft drinks.

Of the 35 Brazilian stocks in IBD’s database that trade in the U.S., none have a higher Composite Rating than AmBev’s 98.

Earnings jumped 17%, 52%, 55% and 32% in recent quarters. Sales rose in a 15% to 17% range in the same period. After-tax margin advanced on a year-ago basis in each of the past five quarters.

AmBev’s beer market share is 69% in Brazil. The retail beer channel in Brazil has almost 1 million points of sale, which poses a barrier to entry for potential competitors. AmBev has an 18% market share of the carbonated soft drink market in Brazil vs. 59% for Coca-Cola (KO).