Major brands like Anheuser-Busch, Target and Kohl’s have collectively taken $28 billion in losses following boycotts over their decision to push LGBTQ merchandise, according to Axios.
Bud Light’s move to partner with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney resulted in immediate backlash and a 20% drop in the company’s share price, Axios reported. Target and Kohl’s, brands known for their LGBTQ merchandise during “Pride Month,” have taken dramatic falls as well, with Target losing $15 billion in market cap value and Kohl’s losing 20% of its share price.
Bank of America has downgraded Target and Kohl’s stock ratings, and HSBC Bank has downgraded Bud Light’s stock rating. Analysts are warning investors that buying stock in them now is too high a risk.
“Target’s high exposure to discretionary sales will not serve them well in the current macro backdrop,” said Citibank analyst Paul Lejuez to Fox News. “Despite the recent stock pressure, we cannot recommend investors buy the stock given these dynamics and now believe the risk, reward is more balanced, but risk is more to the downside near term.”
Bud Light has also lost its top slot as America’s best-selling beer for the first time in two decades, according to MarketWatch. Anheuser-Busch has been in a financial tailspin since March 31, which was the company’s year-to-date high – and the day before transgender TikTok influencer Mulvaney released a video showing off personalized Bud Light cans as part of a sponsorship deal. The backlash that ensued has resulted in an $18 billion loss in market cap value and a stock price value drop of 20%. The brand has partially recovered but remains below its 52-week high.
Target is facing backlash for its LGBTQ Pride merchandise and is currently facing a three-year low on its stock price, from $160 on May 15 down to $137 on June 15. The company’s market cap dropped $15 billion at one point and has now partially recovered to $61 billion total, down from $74 billion in May, Fox Business reported. Similarly, Kohl’s push to sell LGBTQ merch resulted in an initial 20% stock price drop but has since rebounded.
Anheuser-Busch, Target and Kohl’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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