There's little joy in today's price pop at Jones Soda (NASDAQ:JSDA). The stock opened 7% higher after the company announced that it was eliminating 38% of its staff.

The edgy soft drink bottler certainly didn't seem like it would be retreating early last year. That was when it struck a deal with National Beverage (NASDAQ:FIZZ), widening its reach from inside select supermarkets and existing hipster outlets like Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA) and Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) to more mainstream vendors like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

Jones Soda was supposed to be the next Hansen Natural (NASDAQ:HANS). It wound up being the next Hanson brothers pop band.

Last night's 8-K filing indicates that lowering its headcount to just 68 hires will be enough to shave $2.6 million in operating expenses. For a company that is at least two years away from a return to profitability, that's a healthy chunk of change to get there faster.

The key in any restructuring, of course, is if the company can remain productive with fewer people. Where will Jones Soda take the hit? Is it going to lose some of its innovative flavor creations? Will newer products like its 24c vitamin drink mixes or the rollout of its focus-enhancing Jones Gaba energy drink suffer?

If Jones Soda can keep its products humming along with a tighter cost structure, patient investors will be rewarded. The key word there is patient. By slashing its workforce so dramatically -- far more than the 10% layoff announced yesterday at outdoor gear superstore chain Cabela's (NYSE:CAB) -- investors can assume that its next quarterly report will be a disaster.

Then again, shares of Jones Soda have been stung so badly since hitting all-time highs last year that a lot of the negativity is already priced into the shares. The layoffs actually mean that Jones Soda isn't going to go down without a fight, and that'll do as a share price catalyst these days.

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