National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:FIZZ), which makes Shasta soft drinks, LaCroix sparkling water, and Rip It Energy Fuel, reported its fourth-quarter and annual results for fiscal year 2020 today. The company's press release offers a bubbly picture of rising sales and profits, giving investors a refreshing beat of analyst estimates on several key metrics.

The fiscal quarter and year ended on May 2, 2020. According to company figures, Q3 saw relatively modest increases, with net sales inching upward 0.9% year over year, operating income and net income rising 7.1% each, and earnings per share (EPS) gaining 7.5%. Business activity increased strongly in the three months ending early May, with operating income up 37.2%, net income gaining 38.9%, and EPS jumping 39.3%. Net sales climbed 9.1% in Q4, bringing the year's total to over $1 billion.

Assorted soft drinks arranged in a row of transparent cups.

Image source: Getty Images.

The unexpectedly strong showing beat analyst estimates handily. Sources report the consensus earnings per share estimate at $0.57, with the actual quarterly EPS of $0.77 delivering an approximate 35% positive surprise. The company's $262.4 million in revenue surpassed analyst forecasts of $246.27 million -- a nearly 6.6% positive surprise.

A spokesperson for the company singled out one brand as the driver of National Beverage's Q4 gains, highlighting "the profound innovation, vitality, and consumer loyalty of brand LaCroix." This representative went on to say that "three ground-breaking new flavors... LimonCello, Pastèque, and Hi-Biscus, unique only to LaCroix, were launched nationwide with impressive results that drove record fourth-quarter sales."

National Beverage was up 3.87% at market close and has gained more than 12% in after-hours trading. The latest gains help cement the 13% stock value rise it saw in May. 

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