Last Month's Best-Performing Consumer Stocks

Source: Tesla.

February was busy for some of the top names in the consumer-goods industry --and three in particular had impressive monthly share-price growth. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR  ) jumped more than 43% due to some new partnerships. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) shares rose nearly 40% on a strong fourth-quarter report. And Under Armour  (NYSE: UA  ) finished the month up nearly 33% despite a rough time at the Sochi Olympics. 

What were the details behind the double-digit growth -- and what's next for these companies?  

Green Mountain partnered up
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced a new partnership with Coca-Cola that involves a forthcoming cold-beverage version of the Keurig machines. Coca-Cola gained 10% ownership of Green Mountain and stock worth about $1.2 billion. Green Mountain earns a 10-year exclusive license to the beverage pods featuring Coca-Cola's top brands. The Keurig Cold machine should launch sometime next year, and Green Mountain will continue signing up partners ahead of the machine's release.

February also featured three new brand partnerships for the existing Keurig brewers: Krispy Kreme coffee, premium coffee pods from Italian brand Lavazza, and hot chocolate selections from Canadian brand Laura Secord.

I've discussed at length how Green Mountain makes more money from the K-Cups than the brewing machines. In last month's third-quarter report, the packs segment accounted for more than 67% of total revenue. And with the K-cup design now off-patent, these exclusive partnerships are the key drivers of Green Mountain's business. 

Tesla
Tesla's nearly 40% share-price growth during February was a drop in the bucket compared to the 603% growth over the past year. The electric-car manufacturer's biggest story during last month was the fourth-quarter report. 

Fourth-quarter results beat expectations across most of the board. Revenue was $761.3 million -- up 26% year over year and above analyst estimates of $712.7 million.  Earnings per share came in at $0.33 compared to the expected $0.26.

Top bullet points: Gross margin beat Elon Musk's earlier estimates of 25% with 25.2%. The sole miss came with the net loss of $16.3 million, which was higher than the analyst-estimated $933,000 but better than the nearly $90 million loss in the prior year's quarter. 

Tesla sold 6,892 Model S cars in the fourth quarter. It expects the first quarter to have a higher number of vehicle output but lower deliveries due to the long turnaround time. But the big news will come when the popular Model S car begins selling in China this spring, which Musk expects to drive the company to sales of 1,000 vehicles per week by year-end.

Under Armour 
The Sochi Olympics turned dramatic for Under Armour after U.S. speedskaters suspected new custom-designed suits from the company might be to blame for the team's poor performance, which immediately sent shares down by more than 2%. But the Olympic results didn't improve when the athletes switched to an older Under Armour design, and the team walked away without any medals for the first time in 30 years. 

Did Under Armour's new suits cause the poor performance? It's possible, but there's a lack of proof. There were also confounding factors: the fact that the athletes trained at a higher altitude, rumors of internal tension between athletes and management, and the possibility that once the suits were blamed, athletes may have lost focus.

It's apparent that even management didn't blame the losses on Under Armour. At the end of the month, the U.S. speedskating team signed a new contract with Under Armour that will last until 2022. Shares bumped up 6% as soon as the deal was announced. 

What's next for these companies?
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will continue pursuing exclusive partnerships for both the existing brewers and the forthcoming Keurig Cold. Tesla's Model S will become available in China, which should provide a nice boost to the sales figures. And Under Armour will return to a lower profile now that the Olympics have wrapped up, which will help people forget about the speedskating controversy over time.

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