Super Bowl Boost Stokes SodaStream Jump: Israel OvernightLeslie Picker
SodaStream International Ltd., the Israeli home soda-machine maker that has returned five times the Nasdaq Composite Index in the past year, is rising on speculation the company will beat its own revenue forecast.
Shares of SodaStream, which reports first-quarter earnings tomorrow, climbed 1.8 percent to a 20-month high of $54.98 in New York. The stock has surged 85 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 15 percent advance in the Nasdaq. The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the largest U.S.-traded Israeli stocks fell 0.1 percent yesterday as Allot Communications Ltd. jumped and Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. fell.
SodaStream, which advertised its water carbonation and flavoring device during this year’s Super Bowl, is projecting revenue will expand 25 percent this year, according to a February statement. While the Airport City, Israel-based company forecasts $545 million in sales, the mean of eight analysts’ estimates is for $548 million. The U.S. contributed 36 percent of revenue last year, up from 10 percent in 2009.
“The growth they’ve generated in the U.S. has been pretty successful,” Jim Chartier, an analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., said by phone yesterday in New York. “Penetration in the U.S. has been increasing in every quarter. The company’s TV marketing is building brand awareness and driving sales at the same time.”
Chartier rates SodaStream buy and has a 12-month price target of $70. He ranks equal-first among analysts covering the stock after his recommendations delivered the best total returns over the past year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
First-quarter sales for SodaStream rose 29 percent to $113.1 million, according to the mean of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company will report before U.S. markets open tomorrow.
SodaStream has been targeting the U.S. market since 2010 when it went public on the Nasdaq. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Birnbaum projected during a Feb. 20 earnings call that 50 percent of revenue gains in 2013 would come from the U.S.
The U.S. market is where the company spends the most money on advertising, Yonah Lloyd, the company’s chief corporate development officer, said March 27 by phone. On Feb. 3, SodaStream aired its first commercial for the Super Bowl, the professional football championship game that was seen by an average of 108.7 million viewers this year, according to data from Nielsen Holdings NV.
Roth Capital Partners LLC is more bullish on SodaStream revenue than the consensus. Analyst Anton Brenner estimates 2013 sales will rise 29 percent to $563 million, according to a note e-mailed yesterday.
“With strong sales momentum in consumables as well as sodamakers, a lift in the first quarter from the Super Bowl ad and related publicity, we believe that this initial guidance will be surpassed,” Brenner, who rates SodaStream buy, wrote in the report, referring to the company’s 2013 forecast.
SodaStream’s ad strategy isn’t cheap. Companies paid an average of $3.75 million for 30-second spots during the Super Bowl this year, an increase of 7.1 percent from 2012, and the most expensive ad rate in U.S. media, according to WPP Group’s Kantar Media, an industry research firm.
The Israeli company’s gross profit margin will be about 54 percent this year, according to the mean of seven analysts’ estimates collated by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest in three years, the data shows.
Bets against SodaStream have jumped 15 percent since reaching a low in March, with short interest as a percentage of free float reaching 15.2 percent as of May 2, data compiled by Markit, a London-based research firm, showed.
The Bloomberg Israel-US gauge slipped to 90.44 yesterday. Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,210.68 in Tel Aviv today.
Protalix led declines on the Israel-US gauge, falling 2.5 percent to $5.38. In Tel Aviv, the stock slipped 0.3 percent to 19.53 shekels, or $5.49 today.
Orbotech Ltd., which makes equipment that is used to inspect printed-circuit boards and to test for defects in smartphones, televisions and tablets, declined 2.3 percent to $9.98 in New York after earlier rising as much as 7.5 percent.
The company said in a statement yesterday that revenue will rise to about $105 million in the quarter ending in June, a 3.6 percent gain from a year ago and higher than the $97.5 million analysts estimated.
“The stock has been doing pretty good, so that initial reaction to the numbers kind of faded,” Mahesh Sanganeria, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, who has a buy rating on Orbotech, said by phone yesterday. “Some investors tend to sell on the first upturn.”
Allot rallied 4.7 percent to $12.23 in U.S. trading, the highest level since April 4.
Hod Hasharon, Israel-based Allot’s Israeli shares fell 0.1 percent to 42.29 shekels, or $11.88, today after the maker of technology used by telecommunications providers to track wireless traffic reported a first-quarter loss of $1.8 million.