Though its sales and earnings rose year over year and it recently announced a special dividend, National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ -2.03%) is taking a hammering in Friday trading after posting a fiscal second quarter (Q2) 2021 revenue miss. The company, which manufactures the notably popular La Croix sparkling water, soda, and energy drinks, has seen its shares nosedive more than 6% today.
Setting aside Wall Street analyst expectations for a moment, National Beverage turned in a profitable quarter's results. Its net sales grew 8% to reach $272 million for the quarter, while net sales for the trailing 12 months topped $1 billion, rising 7.6% over the previous period to $1.05 billion. Earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter popped 44% year over year, reaching $1.01 versus $0.70 EPS.
But the company didn't meet all consensus forecasts from analysts. Zacks Equity Research reports EPS delivered an 8.6% positive surprise above Wall Street's expectations, giving the company a winning streak of four sequential EPS beats. However, revenue came in approximately 7.3% below consensus, sparking this morning's sell-off.
Despite the dip, National Beverage appears to be buoyed by general beverage sector growth, which offered a similar lift for small but plucky energy drink challenger Celsius Holdings (CELH -3.16%). In National Beverage's case, growth has been centered on the LaCroix brand, which the company says continues "to outpace the sparkling water category."
On Nov. 24, in fact, National Beverage announced a $3 per share special dividend, which it later doubled to $6 per share on Dec. 2. Added to its previous $675 million in dividends, the payout brings the company within "the cost of a tiny pick-up truck away from returning ONE BILLION DOLLARS to our shareholders," according to its colorful description.