SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA) reported its fourth-quarter and end-of-year earnings, and the stock was up a few points on the news, but there are two very different narratives happening at SodaStream at the moment.
The first is the company posting very strong unit sales. Kit sales were up 39%, flavor sales were up 32%, and CO2 canister sales were up 25%. The other side of the coin, however, is that management made some mistakes this quarter. Discounting to gain sales traction on Black Friday became overzealous, and the company also explored other sales avenues such as the Home Shopping Network, a move that also lowered prices. Those discounts translated to some losses for the bottom line. Also, moving a lot of inventory from the U.S., where the company saw lower demand, to other markets meant reconfiguring that inventory for those new markets. With 40% of its sales being reconfigured inventory, the cost of converting that inventory hurt the company as well.
In today's Stock of the Day, Motley Fool analyst Simon Erickson breaks down the company and its prospects. Despite the above managerial gaffes, he still definitely considers the stock a buy, and gives investors three key things to focus on from here. He discusses the importance of a large install base of SodaStream machines with consumers, and he also wants to see more popular flavors introduced. But most important, he wants to see a new way for the company to get its highest-margin item, the CO2 canisters, to consumers directly, so that SodaStream can truly function as an at-home system, rather than sending consumers on trips to the store.
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