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Why National Beverage Stock Was Slammed Friday

By Daniel Sparks – Updated Apr 12, 2019 at 9:35AM

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Profitability took a big hit as sales slumped.

What happened

Shares of National Beverage (FIZZ 3.08%) sold off sharply on Friday, falling as much as 26%. As of 12:02 p.m. EST, however, the stock was down 17.5%.

The stock's decline followed reporting of the company's fiscal third-quarter results, which included earnings per share and sales that were much worse than analysts were expecting.

A chart showing a stock price moving lower.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

National Beverage posted fiscal third-quarter net sales of $220.9 million, down from $227.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Profits plummeted, declining from $41.1 million in the year-ago quarter to $24.8 million. This represents earnings of $0.53 on a per-share basis, down from $0.88 in the year-ago quarter.

The company's earnings per share of $0.53 missed analysts' consensus forecast by a long shot. Analysts expected EPS of $0.76.

The sales slump comes as the company's sparkling-water LaCroix drinks have been battling public brand perception headwinds.

Shares are down more than 51% over the last 12 months.

Check out the latest earnings call transcripts for the companies we cover.

Now what

Investors may be disappointed with the lack of plan laid out to correct this sales slump in the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings release. The CEO, Nick Caporella, said, "Much of this was the result of injustice!" In addition, Caporella is confident in the LaCroix brand, noting:

One can be induced to purchase by cheapening price or giving away a product, but falling in love with a feeling of joy is the result of contentment. Just ask any LaCroix consumer ... Would you trade away that LaLa feeling? "No way, they shout -- We just love our LaCroix!" I am positive they respond this way each and every time.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends National Beverage. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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