What: SodaStream International (SODA) were bubbling higher today, jumping 24% on an impressive first-quarter earnings report.
So what: The at-home soda-machine maker's results seemed to indicate that its business was finally stabilizing after several quarters of decline. The company has been focused on rebranding itself as a sparkling-water company, rather than just soda, and the new strategy appears to be gaining traction.
SodaStream blew past analyst estimates, posting a per-share profit of $0.29, more than double the consensus at $0.11, while revenue ticked up 10.4% to $100.9 million, crushing expectations at $89 million. CEO Daniel Birnbaum said the results demonstrate that "The growth plan is starting to take hold." He noted that sales in Europe were particularly strong as revenue increased by 15% in Western Europe, the company's biggest region. The new manufacturing facility in Lehavim also contributed to increased efficiency and operating performance.
Now what: In another important indicator of growth, sales grew in all three of SodaStream's selling categories-starter kits, flavors, and CO2 refills. In recent quarters, flavors and starter kits had been on a the decline. While growth across those categories was modest, it does show that the company is attracting new customers via starter kit sales, and that its sparkling water rebranding is delivering results through increased sales of the two types of consumables. The rebound in flavors seems to indicate that consumers are opting for flavored water and soda, and not just plain sparkling water.
SodaStream did not provide guidance, and the company has been a difficult one for analysts to forecast, but the strong results should pave the way for promising year. With operating income jumping nearly six times from the quarter a year ago, I'd expect analysts to soon bump up their full-year estimates, which could provide another boost for the stock.