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How Jamba Juiced Investors' 2012 Returns

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The year 2012 is nearing its end, and now's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout the year to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things that a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA  ) . The smoothie specialist came into 2012 having suffered a terrible year, but some positive trends among beverage-selling retailers has brought Jamba back into the spotlight. Below, you'll find more on what moved shares of Jamba this year.

Stats on Jamba


Year-to-date stock return


Market cap

$173 million

Revenue, past 12 months

$229 million

Net loss, past 12 months

($2.6 million)

1-year revenue growth


CAPS rating


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

What made Jamba soar in 2012?
Jamba had shares rebound sharply from its 2011 losses for a variety of reasons, but all of them boil down to better investor confidence. With a new management team that's pushing growth through refranchising and expanding menus to market the company as a wellness brand, Jamba has attracted positive attention from professional investor gatherings like the Value Investing Congress.

In addition, buyout interest in premium drink sellers has increased sharply in recent months. In November, Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) agreed to acquire tea purveyor Teavana (NYSE: TEA  ) for $620 million, following up on its buy of juice specialist Evolution Fresh last year. Moreover, a private equity deal for Caribou Coffee (Nasdaq: CBOU  ) vaulted shares of the coffee seller just last week. Buying Jamba could help answer growth woes for a number of Starbucks competitors, especially in the fast-food space.

With McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) and Starbucks having moved aggressively into the smoothie market, Jamba has big competition and remains only seasonally profitable. But if its diversifying efforts are successful, there's no reason not to expect more consistent profits.

2012 has whetted investors' appetites for Jamba, but it's up to the company to justify their hopes in 2013. With a valuable brand at an attractive price, it'll be interesting to see if Jamba remains independent throughout the coming year.

Will McDonald's buy Jamba?
Jamba investors are hoping for a buyout from McDonald's or its peers. After making investors rich in 2011, McDonald's has been one of the worst-performing blue-chip stocks this year, so it could benefit from a buyout. Our top analyst on McDonald's will tell you whether you should be worried by this trend, and he'll shed light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices. Click here now to read our premium research report on the company.

Click here to add Jamba to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

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