These are dry times at SodaStream (SODA). The former market darling hit another all-time low last week, held back by another woeful quarterly report. Adjusted revenue tumbled 28% since the prior year's quarter, and profitability took an even bigger step back.
It's not pretty, with double-digit declines in all four of its regional territories including Western Europe, which continues to account for the lion's share of SodaStream's revenue. However, there are some real opportunities to bounce back in the U.S., where sales have been slipping for nearly two years.
SodaStream had big dreams for the stateside market, making big investments in Super Bowl ads and a short-lived stint of Scarlett Johansson as brand ambassador. It's easy to see why the U.S. is a juicy opportunity, accounting for 20% of the world's consumption of cold beverages. Unlike some of the more established European markets where it has market penetration north of 10%, just 1.5% of the households in the U.S. have a SodaStream machine.
As bad as things may seem at the moment, SodaStream is working hard to turn things around. Let's take a look at some of the potential catalysts that could breathe new life into this forgotten stock.
1. Sparkling its way into relevance
SodaStream has been gradually repositioning its namesake machine. It's no longer being marketed as a soda maker. It's eyeing the booming sparkling water market, growing at a time when traditional soft drink sales continues to drop.
SodaStream has been holding back as it refreshes its product line and marketing, but that's starting to change. It's rolling out exotic gourmet flavors -- foodie friendly syrups including cucumber apple and lime basil -- and it just introduced its new "Factory of One" advertising campaign.
2. Ultimate revenge
Investors began to sour on SodaStream when Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR.DL) announced that it would be producing Keurig Cold, a system that makes hot and cold beverages including carbonated beverages. Keurig Green Mountain was able to broker deals with leading soda brands, something that SodaStream was unable to do.
The irony is that SodaStream's fortunes turned long before Keurig Green Mountain was able to enter the market. In fact, we're still waiting for Keurig Cold. However, in that time, SodaStream has been working on its own Keurig Cold challenger.
SodaStream Ultimate makes purified and filtered hot and cold beverages. It can make as few as one and as many as 20 servings at a time. It makes sparkling water for about a dime per serving, but it also makes sodas and even coffee. It expects to hit the market during the second half of next year.
3. Mix things up
Another new beverage maker that will be available around that time is Mix, the latest SodaStream technology that will be able to carbonate any liquid. It will give the inner mixologist even more ways to fizz up beverages.
There are risks, of course. Ultimate and Mix may be delayed. SodaStream's relevance could be too far gone by the time they hit the market. The new sparkling water flavors and marketing could fall on ears that have dismissed the original system as a fad. However, SodaStream isn't exactly firing blanks here. As bad as things may be at the moment, it's not giving up the fight for a fizzy future.