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Thursday, March 7, 2019

=National Beverage (FIZZ) reported earnings on Thur 7 March 19 (a/h)

National Beverage misses by $0.22, misses on revs 
  • Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.53 per share, $0.22 worse than the two analyst estimate of $0.75; revenues fell 2.9% year/year to $221 mln vs the $236.99 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • "We are truly sorry for these results stated above. Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons -- much of this was the result of injustice! Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped. Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies. It is important that LaCroix's true character is not devalued intentionally - in any way. National Beverage Corp. is and will remain the preeminent innovator that adds zest and authenticity to the 'sparkling water' phenomenon in North America," stated Nick A. Caporella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Additionally, gross margins were impacted by volume declines. Comparisons were further skewed by the adoption of the new tax act in the third quarter of the prior year, which included credits and rate reduction adjustments aggregating $11.3 million. Nothing herein mentioned has detracted from the ultimate value and future of our dynamic company."

Missed on Q3 EPS and revs (net sales fell -- for the first time in years -- 2.9% year/year to $221 mln) on declining volumes; branded case volume fell by 4.1%, including a 5.8% decline in volume in Power+ Brands, which includes co's LaCroix brand. Co's CEO attributed the results to "injustice" in co's sparse earnings press release; the relevant 10-Q explains that management sees the decline in the brand as resulting principally from widespread media coverage of litigation regarding the marketing and labeling of LaCroix, which has long been ongoing and has involved allegations of synthetic ingredients, in violation of specific state consumer protection statutes, in LaCroix products. Downgraded to Sell at Guggenheim. At two-year lows.

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