business

Snapple On The Rocks

It's not as though people have stopped drinking iced tea: This year, Snapple Beverage will likely ship 90 million cases of bottled teas and fruit drinks, up 60% from 1993. Nonetheless, Snapple's inventories have ballooned, possibly because the company overestimated demand. Margins have slipped, too--hinting at price softness. In late August, a slew of analysts downgraded the stock, some fretting about Coca-Cola's new Fruitopia concoctions. Down plunged Snapple shares. And on Sept. 1, Wheat First Butcher & Singer analyst John Maxwell also cut his rating after Snapple refused to provide inventories or shipment estimates. Maxwell expects the company to take an earnings charge.

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