Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (UNKNOWN:GMCR.DL) were heating up today, climbing as much as 19% today on a strong fourth-quarter report.
So what: Results for the maker of the Keurig countertop brewing system soared past estimates with per-share earnings of $0.89 against expectations of $0.75, as revenue grew 22% to $1.05 billion, topping the consensus at $964.6 million. Brewer sales increased from 2 million in the quarter a year ago to 2.6 million, while portion-pack sales improved by 11%. Portion packs make up nearly three-quarters of the company's revenue, but the growth in brewer sales is key as it helps to ensure greater demand for the K-Cups going forward.
Now what: Green Mountain also delighted the market with an increased share-buyback program of up to $1 billion, and the introduction of a quarterly dividend of $0.25, equal to a 1.4% yield. Finally, the company predicted high-single-digit revenue growth for the coming year, and earnings of $3.75 to $3.85 per share, both in line with estimates.
After last year's stock stumble, today's report seems to assert yet again that Green Mountain has put the previous patent cliff and accounting concerns behind it. This is a stable company with solid growth ahead of it, and the recent dividend announcement confirms management's focus on returning capital to shareholders. The dividend should also help quiet the short-sellers, who have been trashing Green Mountain, to little avail now, for several years.