3 Reasons SodaStream International Ltd.’s Stock Could Rise

SodaStream's down but not out. This soda stock could pop yet again.

Aug 27, 2014 at 5:30PM

The at-home beverage maker SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) can't seem to catch a break. Its stock has lost more than 30% of its value so far this year, and there's reason to believe this free fall could continue.

But investors (including myself) need to consider both sides of the coin. The do-it-yourself soda market is in flux. Less than a year ago we were still debating whether this so-called "fad" would wear thin, but now the biggest name in beverages, Coca-Cola, has generally settled that argument.

In other words, SodaStream's trajectory could change overnight. Here's why things could start looking up:

1. Americans want healthier options: Cue SodaStream


SodaStream's "Free" is a zero-calorie seltzer beverage that it believes will resonate with health-conscious consumers. Free will appear on U.S. retail shelves in the latter half of 2014. Source: SodaStream.

America has a newfound appetite for healthier food and beverage options, and the latter is precisely where SodaStream plans to make waves. As evidence, consider that Americans are consuming fewer calories than we were four years ago, and fast-food outlets are feeling the effects of our shifting values. Meanwhile, the same developments are occurring in the beverage industry.

According to the global consulting firm Deloitte, the number one "fundamental theme" in soft drinks centers around "Changing consumer beverage preferences, featuring a shift toward health-oriented wellness drinks." SodaStream plans to pounce on this trend by doubling down on its marketing of the "health and wellness" aspects of its products. And there's reason to believe it could succeed in setting itself apart from brands like Coke and Pepsi.

For one, SodaStream's cola beverages contain no high-fructose corn syrup, a distinguishing characteristic versus Coke and Pepsi's marquee products. Secondly, SodaStream claims its colas generally have one-third the amount of sugar, calories, and carbohydrates of their rival store-bought competitors. What's more is that it has teamed up with recognizable brands in more health-oriented categories, including juice purveyors like V8, Dole, Ocean Spray, and Welch's.

Thus far, SodaStream has struggled to find a sweet spot for its U.S. marketing campaigns, but a more focused message could be just the ticket. Across the board, the health and wellness trend is picking up steam, as pointed out a few weeks ago by the natural grocer Sprouts Market: "Studies today show that the most rapidly growing segment of Americans adopting healthier eating habits is primarily middle income consumers."

If SodaStream can align its brand with this fast-growing movement, this could do wonders for its stock.

2. A rising tide of soda could lift all ships

Sodastreams Wood Source

SodaStream's Source machine. Source: SodaStream

As soon as Coca-Cola and Keurig Green Mountain debut their co-created Keurig Cold machine, many believe it will be game over for SodaStream. But Coke's entrance could have just the opposite effect. If the beverage giant catapults the at-home soda market into the spotlight through a well-financed marketing campaign, SodaStream could benefit, as well. There's room for more than one player in this industry.

First off, SodaStream is the largest participant in the U.S. home soda market; but only 1.1% of households owned a SodaStream machine as of last summer. That's almost a blip on the radar, which means there's plenty of untapped opportunity.

According to a Gallup poll in 2012, nearly half of Americans drink a glass of soda every single day. But only a fraction of those soda sippers benefit from the convenience of an at-home refill machine.

The entrance of Coca-Cola will increase awareness around the do-it-yourself soda movement. It will lead to more shelf space for these products in stores, and will likely create a "buzz" among consumers that exceeds anything SodaStream could ever muster on its own. It will prompt consumers to debate the merits of the Keurig Cold's single-serve functionality against SodaStream's higher-volume containers. And the same goes for the carbonation process, the flavors, and the cost of regular use.

Because there are limitations of Coke's machines -- including a lack of flavor customization and a single-serve refill pod -- there's reason to believe SodaStream can entice customers who find its machines better suited to their household needs.

In short, SodaStream's not doomed if the Keurig Cold is a success. With the U.S. proving to be a soft spot for SodaStream in recent quarters, this could be just what the company needs to bring attention to the overall category. As they say, a rising tide can lift all ships.

3. SodaStream looks cheap at today's price
SodaStream has fallen out of favor among a certain breed of growth-hungry investors. But with its stock price cut in half during the past twelve months -- from $70 to roughly $35 per share -- this fizzy beverage maker is starting to look cheap.

SODA Chart

SODA data by YCharts.

SodaStream's forward price to earnings stands at 18.3 today, which is roughly in-line with Coke's, at 18.6, or Pepsi's, at 18.7. SodaStream is in a very different place than either of these companies, but it is trying to go head-to-head with the beverage giants in an attempt to lure customers over to its products. That, in turn, is proving to be a costly activity that's taking a toll on earnings.

In 2013, for example, SodaStream's sales and marketing expenses totaled $186.3 million, or roughly 33% of the $562.7 million the company generated in revenue. And if you read the company's annual reports carefully, you'll realize that a sizable portion of that marketing budget is being directed toward the currently lackluster American market: "As we intend to invest in increasing our active customer installed base, particularly in the United States, we expect sales and marketing expenses to increase in absolute terms."

For value investors, this presents an interesting opportunity to evaluate. If SodaStream continues to hit a wall in the U.S., then perhaps the company could ratchet down marketing spend in this region. Should this occur, investors would be left with minimal growth in the Americas, but with a relatively attractive (and profitable) business model in the rest of the world. Revenue in Western Europe, for instance, increased by 31.4% in 2013, and this region is immensely more profitable than the U.S. for SodaStream: Western Europe generated earnings before tax (EBT) margins of 21% compared to the Americas' EBT margin of 6.2%.

For now, SodaStream's earnings are taking a hit as the company plows money into advertising and marketing to amplify growth in the U.S. But this is masking the earnings power of the rest of the company. For investors less fixated on classifying SodaStream as a "growth" stock, this could be a value opportunity with room to run.

The takeaway for investors
SodaStream is standing on firmer ground than many onlookers give it credit for. In the year ahead, the at-home soda maker could benefit from a shift toward healthier sparkling beverages, and the entrance of Coke in a currently niche DIY drink industry. Meanwhile, SodaStream's built a reliable business model overseas that's overshadowed by a stagnant American market. As soon as investors see more than a fading "growth" story in SodaStream, the sooner they can position themselves to profit.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Isaac Pino, CPA owns shares of SodaStream. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo and SodaStream and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information