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Tomorrow's financial results haven't even arrived yet, but it's already been an eventful quarter for SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA ) .
Within the last three months, SodaStream gained monstrous free publicity when Jim Cramer challenged Hank Greenberg to a taste test on CNBC, and SodaStream went four-for-four against giant canned brands.
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the upcoming report -- and at least one reason to be cautious. Let's go over a few things to keep in mind as we barrel toward the numbers.
1. Follow the momentum
When SodaStream came through with a strong holiday quarter -- its first outing as a public company -- cynics figured that the home-based carbonation system was just a Christmas novelty. SodaStream must've sold 712,000 of its starter kits to unimaginative gift-buyers, because they were being prominently featured at Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY ) .
Home-based soda makers were the new reindeer sweaters and fruitcake, these critics said. By the time January rolled around, folks would surely be returning them in droves. Who would buy a soda maker during the chilly wintry months for themselves?
But those cynics were silenced when SodaStream unleashed its blowout first-quarter results. It sold 592,000 starter systems -- and 2.7 million of the CO2 refills necessary to keep the fizzy water coming after every 60 liters. In other words, folks were still buying the systems, and actually using them (unlike the fondue set and margarita makers collecting dust in the attic).
Given SodaStream's broader distribution, May's starring role on CNBC, and the hot summer that started in June, it would be a shock if we saw a sequential uptick in the sale of systems, carbonators, and soda syrups.
2. Mind your euros
As an Israeli company that has had its strongest success in Europe, it may surprise investors to see SodaStream report financials denominated in euros. The company will provide some metrics in U.S. dollars as a convenience translation, but that won't be the only metric in need of quick currency conversions. SodaStream is one of the few companies for which stateside analysts model their estimates based on the euro.
This distinction's more important than you think. If you're using revenue and profitability figures that have already been converted into dollars, it may look like SodaStream blew Wall Street targets out of the water.
Let's illustrate the problem. Check out consensus estimates on Yahoo! Finance, and you'll find that SodaStream earned "0.27" during the first quarter relative to expectations of "0.15" for the period. But these are euros, not cents. SodaStream actually earned $0.38 a share during the quarter. In other words, it's easy to overestimate how well SodaStream did.
But it's also a rookie mistake to underestimate SodaStream's projections. Most investors will look at yesterday's close of $67.89 and Wall Street's estimate of "1.38" in earnings next year and assume that SodaStream is expensive because it fetches 49 times next year's projected profitability.
Nope. Again, you're mixing dollars with euros. You need to multiply the estimate by the conversion rate -- currently 1.43 -- to arrive at $1.97 as the appropriate estimate. SodaStream actually closed yesterday at 34 times next year's forecast. The difference doesn't make SodaStream shares cheap, but it does make them less expensive.
Then again, SodaStream has beaten Wall Street estimates by 150% and 80% in its first two quarters as a public company. Even with analysts jacking their targets higher in recent weeks, you have to like SodaStream's chances here.
3. Respect the run
I'm always wary of stocks that run up ahead of earnings. SodaStream closed at $43.73 the day before it posted its monstrous first-quarter results. The market has been pretty cruel over the past three months, but SodaStream shares have soared 55% in that time.
Don't get me wrong. I'm proud to have recommended SodaStream to Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers earlier this year before the stock broke $40. I think it's going to be a great investment even for today's buyers, and its performance looks snazzy on our market-thumping scorecard.
However, stocks that put on a lot of weight as they home in on a quarterly report usually have to do more than simply beat the market to reward their investors.
SodaStream has evolved from underdog to darling. When Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR ) posted a blowout quarter two weeks ago, SodaStream went along for the ride -- even if their models are more different than alike. They may both be convenient home-based alternatives to premium beverages, but there's a big difference between the single-serve merits of K-Cup's lavish ecosystem, and a product that simply cranks out fresher and healthier soda by the liter.
SodaStream investors won't mind the name dropping, but it's one more reason why its report tomorrow better be really good if it wants it to move the company's stock even higher. Thankfully for investors, SodaStream is two for two on that front so far.
Is SodaStream a fad, or a real lifestyle changer? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.