Shares of generic soda company Cott
Why the shares slid is a question worth pondering. The company's first-half and Q2 profits were impacted by falling gross margins, while stronger-than-expected business in the U.S. -- the company is based in Canada -- increased logistics costs (things such as interplant shipping and customer freight). But Cott, which supplies Wal-Mart
That was underscored with yesterday's news, which came in the form of a midday press release. This time, though the tone of the announcement was similar to that which seemed to depress investors in July -- in essence, "costs and expenses are up, but business is still darn good and we're ready to invest to bring those margins back where we think they should be" -- the stock moved upward. Go figure!
Now Cott is pointing investors toward full-year 2004 revenues of between 16% and 19%, up from previously provided guidance of between 15% and 18%. This, management says, should end up as EPS of between $1.23 and $1.27, which translates to year-over-year growth of approximately 13% using the company's low-end estimate (and just under 17% using the high-end projection).
With the shares trading at about 22 times that low-end figure, Cott doesn't look like a huge bargain at the moment -- an indication, perhaps, of just how much investors still like this company despite a three-month drop in market value of about 20%.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.