SodaStream Is a Fizzy Lifting Drink

New pop star SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA  ) brought on the carbonation in its first quarter as a public company.

The company behind the home soda carbonator that's been popping up at several stateside retailers in recent months lived up to the hype. Revenue climbed 52%, to $57.1 million, fueled by a 245% top-line surge on this side of the Atlantic.

This has yet to become the scalable model it will eventually become. Net income, after backing out a one-time IPO-related item, merely matched the 52% revenue uptick to $5.4 million -- or $0.42 a share.

SodaStream sold 449,000 systems during the quarter, well ahead of the 285,000 it moved a year earlier. Owners went through 2.6 million of the refillable CO2 carbonators necessary to turn still water into unflavored seltzer, 24% ahead of the refills that SodaStream sold during last year's third quarter.

Don't let the slower pace of the carbonators relative to the actual systems lead you to believe that usage is slowing. It's a fallacy that burned doubters of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR  ) , as year-over-year sales of Keurig brewers outpace K-Cup refills. The cumulative nature of system sales distorts the reality. In the end, the "razor and blades" model is still alive and rocking.

SodaStream's "blades" are open to debate. Anyone can sell flavored soda syrup, though owners may originally flock to the SodaStream brand. It's hard to imagine Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) or PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) entering into this niche, but even the mighty Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) wasn't beyond entering the instant coffee market as Keurig took off.

SodaStream's stiffest challenge is that its product isn't cheaper than generic soda bottles. However, the eco-friendly and health benefits of homemade pop may be just enough to win over consumers at a time when they're open to paying a premium at Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI  ) for more organic consumables.

We'll see how this battle plays itself out, though Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY  ) was promoting SodaStream on the front page of last week's circular just as we were heading into the huge holiday selling season. The Israeli-based pop star appears to be pushing all of the right buttons on a stock that has been far more fizzy than flat in its brief spell as a public company.

Is SodaStream the real deal or a passing craze? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Green Mountain is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Bed Bath & Beyond, Starbucks, and Whole Foods are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of diet soft drinks. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (10)

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  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 10:22 PM, asfg812 wrote:

    This stock may grow... but I'm delighted I shorted it today. And only wish I'd followed my instincts and caught it at $43 instead of $37. It will be interesting to see if it gets support at $31 or falls through.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2010, at 1:42 AM, falafelfro wrote:

    I think this product has a viral element that could likely accelerate growth. My neighbor threw a party and used his Sodastream appliance, and several people ended up being impressed enough to buy their own.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2010, at 2:16 PM, benkhoo wrote:

    The question I ask is whether this is something I use, and that my friends would spend money on. Like Netflix (a 10-bagger for me!), this is something I've bought and seen many of my friends buy not just for themselves, but as gifts for family and friends. By using the sodastream during parties at home, I've helped sell over 40+ units for sodastream. It makes sense, and sells itself!

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