SodaStream earnings sizzle but shares fizzle

The stock price of the home soda maker dips despite an earnings beat.

By Benzinga Aug 8, 2012 6:17PM

By Chris Poley


SodaStream International (SODA), the home carbonation system manufacturer and marketer, posted a second-quarter profit far above analyst expectations Wednesday. But shares still dropped slightly to close at $40.97.


The Israeli company reported that net income rose 43.9% to $9.5 million, or 45 cents a share, from $6.6 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue increased 49.1% to $103 million from $69.1 million a year earlier.


"We are very pleased to have generated our first $100 million revenue quarter ever," said CEO Daniel Birnbaum in a statement.


Gross margins grew 54.4% versus 53% a year earlier. Moreover, marketing expenses rose 36% to $37.1 million from $22.5 million, or 32.5%.


SodaStream also raised its 2012 guidance for sales growth to 40% from earlier estimate of 33% over last year. The company increased its net income forecast from 50% to 55% above 2011.


"The successful execution of our growth strategy, combined with a strong pipeline of product innovation, gives us confidence in our ability to capture a greater share of the global beverage industry in the years ahead," Birnbaum said.


Revenue growth occurred in all regions, with revenue from the Americas more than doubling to $30.7 million. Europe sales were up 25% to $54 million, while Asia and the Pacific Rim revenue tripled to $9.9 million.


Some might consider SodaStream to be a growth story, but investors have not been fully convinced. Last July, share prices were trading north of $70 and were trading Wednesday near $40. Yahoo Finance indicates that 67% of the stock's float is short. As an illustration of the high level of volatility affecting SodaStream shares, shares were up 8% in pre-market trading Wednesday morning, but were down 3% within the first hour of market open. This volatility may be related to the stock's bearish short interest.


The majority of SodaStream's competitors trade on the OTC or pink-sheet system, indicating that these companies may not have to file with SEC. All these competitors have a small share float, high betas and market values of well under $1 billion.


The Wall Street adage of "buy the rumor, sell the news" may have applied to SodaStream. Based the company's heavy short float and positive earnings, revenues and full year guidance, investors might have expected this stock to explode upward.


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