If you're looking for a stock pick with five-bagger potential, they're still out there ... even in this environment. They're not where you'd usually expect to find them though. A couple of the market's hottest prospects right now are both found in the consumer goods sector and are even in the same industry: beverages.
One of these names has an edge on the other though, making it the more- compelling choice for investors that can stomach a little volatility. The two tickers in question? Celsius Holdings (CELH -0.69%) and Monster Beverage (MNST -1.65%).
The same, but different
Odds are good you've at least heard of Monster Beverage. Its flagship energy drink lineup uses the same name, though this is the company behind Full Throttle, Nos, and Predator energy drinks just to name a few. The $47 billion company did $5.5 billion worth of business last year, up 20% from 2020's top line. Not only is it one of the premier names in energy drinks, it's also almost as big as energy drinks market leader Red Bull.
Don't let Celsius Holdings' smaller size fool you though. It's an up-and-coming contender that could make waves for both of the industry's powerhouses. Celsius' 2021 revenue of $314 million is a 141% improvement of the prior year's sales, and that triple-digit growth pace hasn't slowed down since then. Through the first two fiscal quarters of 2022, the company's revenue is up to the tune of 149%.
Clearly Celsius Holdings is finally finding its stride on the marketing front, perhaps with the right nudge from CEO John Fieldly who took the helm in 2018.
Most remarkable, however, is the fact that the relatively young $6.8 billion outfit has also been profitable more often than not since Fieldly was named the company's chief.
Look for more of the same top- and bottom-line growth going forward too.
Why Celsius Holdings is the better bet
In some ways, it's not an entirely fair comparison. Celsius is a much-smaller organization than Monster, and as such, is nimbler. It's also younger, meaning it's not yet forged as many distribution partnerships that will ultimately drive growth. That unfair comparison, however, is exactly what makes Celsius Holdings the better growth prospect of the two beverage names in question.
Besides, it's not as if the smaller company isn't deserving of some of Red Bull's and Monster's market share.
It's not readily evident with just a quick glance, but Celsius' energy drinks appeal to a wider audience than Monster's beverages do. Yes, its drinks are embraced by the predictable 18-to-24-year-old male demographic. The appeal doesn't stop there though. In a recent interview with Beverage Digest, Fieldly pointed out that his company's products are also regularly used by 24-to-44 year-old men as well as -- surprise! -- women. Credit that fact that Celsius' drinks aren't just a source of raw energy. They tiptoe into the functional beverage category, and may even help some consumers lose weight.
Whatever it is, it works. Beverage Digest data indicates Celsius gained more market share than any other major brand through the first half of 2022. Conversely, Monster and Red Bull both lost share during this timeframe.
The proverbial party is just getting started too.
Perhaps seeing how quickly Celsius drinks are catching on, beverage giant PepsiCo is now on board. The company made a $550 million equity investment in Celsius Holdings in early August, but the transaction goes beyond a mere position in the company's preferred stock. The deal also names PepsiCo as Celsius' preferred global distribution partner.
It remains to be seen how much this might boost Celsius Holdings' growth. For perspective though, Celsius energy drinks are now being sold out of around 2700 company-owned coolers, whereas PepsiCo controls on the order of 60,000 of them. It also has relationships with about 100,000 independent retailers, according to reporting from Beverage Digest, who may well be interested in a new strong-selling product.
Not for everyone, but certainly for some
None of this is to suggest Monster Beverage will be a poor performer going forward. Indeed, Monster's stock has been a solid performer since bottoming out in March, and it currently sits with sight of record highs met again in July. It's also been an impressive long-term winner.
If you're willing to accept a little more risk in exchange for a little more reward though, Celsius Holdings is better positioned to quintuple before Monster does from their current prices. That's especially true in light of the stock's 20% pullback from August's peak, lowering the current entry cost for any newcomers.
Just keep in mind this relatively young company and even younger stock is prone to volatility that could drag it lower before pushing it higher.