What: At-home carbonated beverage machine maker SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) saw its stock slip 15% during the month of July, according to S&P Capital IQ data. The drop put shares at a new 52-week low and has left long-term investors deep in the red: SodaStream is down 50% in the last year.
So what: Investors sold the stock throughout the month as Wall Street prepared for what was expected to be a rough second-quarter earnings report in early August. To its credit, SodaStream's management delivered surprisingly high sales when they posted results on Aug. 5. However, the figures still showed that SodaStream's business is shrinking dramatically and that time may be running out for the company to reintroduce itself to consumers in a way that puts it back on a path to solid growth.
Revenue tanked by 28% as SodaStream sold 37% fewer machine kits to consumers in the second quarter. Flavor sales took an even harder hit, falling by 45%. The company logged double-digit sales losses in each of its geographic regions around the world, led by a painful 44% drop in the U.S. market.
Some of that pain was self-imposed: SodaStream's management stopped shipping its soda-focused flavors and machines, scaled back advertising spending, and removed its products from a big portion of its retailer base in preparation for a brand relaunch in the second half of 2015. "As we previously discussed, the first half of 2015 would be a challenging period due to implementation of our global restructuring and growth plan," CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in the earnings press release.
Now what: Management believes it can arrest the sales slide beginning this quarter as it introduces new machines and flavors that emphasize sparkling water production over at-home soda making. The products are shipping to retailers now, and SodaStream plans to start supporting them with stepped-up marketing investments over the next few months.
With sales tanking, investors can't point to much evidence suggesting that management's drastic turnaround plan will work. But the good news is that SodaStream delivered a record 6.9 million carbon dioxide canisters in the second quarter, which at least shows it has a big base of fans to market its completely new products toward.