A-B's core domestic brands struggled to hang onto market share, falling to 50.2% from 50.9% a year ago, although subsequent quarters may be more accurate gauges.
Strong results from international operations such as China, and equity investments in Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, helped push worldwide shipments up 2.2%.
Although analysts are worried about the slow growth of its domestic business, they gave A-B credit for ramping up marketing spend in the quarter for imported and core brands, which may help sales later this year.
"Marketing spending is becoming a more important part of protecting and
building share," Mark Swartzberg, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in New York, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.