Earnings season is now starting to wind down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Monster Beverage has posted huge gains over the years from the success of its innovation in the energy-drink industry. But lately, concerns about beverage-related health effects have left the stock feeling a bit winded. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Monster Beverage over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Wednesday.

Stats on Monster Beverage

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$438.6 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Monster Beverage give its investors a jolt?
Analysts have stayed fairly resolute in their calls on Monster Beverage's earnings, with per-share estimates unchanged from three months ago and full-year 2013 EPS down just $0.02. The stock has lost a modest amount of ground, though, falling almost 3% since its late-November spike after its previous earnings report.

Energy drinks have gained a lot of traction in recent years, providing big growth and huge margins for Monster. In just a decade, Monster has grown to a $10 billion brand, joining Red Bull among the two most dominant energy-drink makers in the business. That success has inspired not only traditional soft-drink makers into the market but also coffee giant Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), which broadened its offerings with Starbucks Refreshers last summer. The move by Starbucks was just the latest attempt to broaden its overall lineup, but it also validates the potential of the energy-drink industry.

But concerns about energy drinks have raised the possibility of regulation and legal liability against Monster and its peers. Late last year, the FDA started investigating deaths that were allegedly linked to Monster energy drinks. Moreover, in Canada, new limits on caffeine could have a big impact on many energy-drink brands, including those of Monster. Monster has tried to get ahead of any potential U.S. regulation by voluntarily disclosing caffeine content, but if similar limits hit the U.S., the effect could be even larger.

One area of consistent speculation has been that Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) would make a bid to buy Monster. The deal would make sense for Coke, rounding out its already broad list of beverage offerings and fighting back against competitors. Even though Coke denied similar rumors last year, the idea simply won't go away.

In its quarterly report, watch for how Monster deals with the increasingly hostile regulatory environment as well as takeover speculation. With the stock trading at a high multiple, it can't afford any missteps in its quest toward high-energy growth.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola. It recommends and owns shares of Monster Beverage, and Starbucks. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.