Monster Beverage Gains After Energy-Drink Demand Fuels Sales

  • Rally follows a stock slump for the maker of Mutant Super Soda
  • Energy beverages outstrip other categories in sales growth

Monster Beverage Corp. rose the most in more than two years after fourth-quarter sales handily beat estimates, a sign demand for energy drinks remains strong.

Sales jumped 17 percent to $753.8 million in the period, compared with the $722.1 million projected by analysts. Profit, meanwhile, was in line with predictions.

Energy beverages continue to outshine other drink categories, such as cola and other traditional sodas. The company’s homegrown brands, which include Monster Energy and Mutant Super Soda, provide the bulk of its sales. A group of drinks it acquired from Coca-Cola Co., meanwhile, grew more slowly.

The stock rose as much as 16 percent to $48.76 in New York trading on Thursday, the biggest intraday gain since August 2014. The rally erased a down year for Monster: Its shares had fallen 5.3 percent in 2017 through Wednesday’s close.

The Corona, California-based company acquired some Coca-Cola brands in a roughly $2.15 billion deal forged in 2014. As part of the pact, the two companies also agreed to share marketing, production and distribution. Coca-Cola, which was already distributing Monster in the U.S. and Canada, is expanding the arrangement globally, helping the energy brand grow overseas.

Fourth-quarter earnings amounted to 30 cents a share, matching the analyst estimate. Profit was hurt by $46.3 million in expenses stemming from terminating deals with distributors.

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