There’s no hiding the thread of nervousness that’s tied itself into Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) over the past few months. Shares have fallen over 8 percent this year to date, fueled by a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed against the company last fall. The lawsuit triggered the release of FDA reports that attributed five possible deaths to the company’s energy drinks, and began a conversation about caffeination and labeling that has left a dark cloud the industry.
Given the multibillion-dollar size of the energy drink industry, it seems unlikely that the recent round of criticism will materially impact long-term prospects. The company is slated to release earnings tomorrow, and analysts are still expecting double-digit top- and bottom-line growth. Expectations are for 17 percent earnings growth per share to $0.41, and 18 percent revenue growth to $483.6 million.
|Dec. 31, 2011||Mar. 31, 2012||Jun. 30, 2012||Sep. 30, 2012||Dec. 31, 2012*|
|Revenue ($) in thousands||409,957||454,605||592,640||541,950||483,600|
|Diluted EPS ($)||0.35||0.41||0.59||0.47||0.41|
*Mean analyst expectation.
Hopes are high, but as with any growth story, obstacles remain. Major soft-drink industry players like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Pepsico (NYSE:PEP) have taken a step into the domain of energy drinks, and regulatory concerns still remain…