Monster Beverage Earnings Win Out Despite Distributor Terminations

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When Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) released its most recent quarterly results late on Thursday, the company said that it had $0.33 in earnings per share (EPS) and $742.1 million in revenue. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.32 in EPS and revenue of $742.43 million. In the first quarter of last year, Monster posted EPS of $0.27 and $580.19 million in revenue.

During the first quarter, net sales for the Monster Energy Drinks segment, which includes Mutant Super Soda drinks as well as Monster Energy drinks, increased 7.5% to $668.6 million.

At the same time, the Strategic Brands segment, which includes the various energy drink brands acquired from Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), increased 16.4% to $68.0 million.

Distributor terminations also had an impact on first-quarter results. Approximately $0.02 was shaved off from adjusted EPS.

On the books, Monster’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $785.7 million at the end of the quarter, up from with $598.1 million at the end of December 2016.

Rodney C. Sacks, board chair and chief executive, commented:

We are pleased to report continued progress on the strategic alignment of our distribution system with Coca-Cola bottlers, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, we transitioned distribution of Monster Energy drinks to the Coca-Cola bottlers in Wisconsin early in January 2017, in parts of Minnesota, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, in March 2017 and in a part of North Dakota, including Fargo, in April 2017. We commenced distribution of Monster Energy drinks with the Coca-Cola bottler in Nigeria as well as in certain other countries during the 2017 first quarter.  In China during the first quarter of 2017, we continued with launches in Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu.  We also extended distribution in the Guangdong province.  Further launches are planned in China and in other countries, including a relaunch in India in 2017. We expanded distribution of Monster Energy Ultra Violet and launched Full Throttle Orange in the first quarter of 2017.  We have a robust pipeline of new products for 2017.

Shares of Monster were last seen up 3% at $47.37 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $55.29 and a 52-week trading range of $40.64 to $48.10.