Zacks Investment Research Lowers Monster Beverage (MNST) to Hold

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Monster Beverage surpassed the industry in the past six months, driven by solid momentum in energy drinks business amid a challenging industry backdrop. The company is also optimistic about its alliance with Coca-Cola’s bottlers globally, which broadened its distribution network. Moreover, the company’s top and bottom lines outpaced estimates and improved year over year in third-quarter 2018. This marked its second straight earnings beat, while sales reverted to positive surprise trend after three consecutive misses. The top line benefited from solid sales at Monster Energy Drinks segment and advance purchases made by customers due to a pre-announced price hike. However, sales were adversely impacted by foreign currency translations. Moreover, increased raw material costs are persistently hurting margins, which is likely to continue in quarters ahead.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on MNST. Jefferies Financial Group upped their price objective on Monster Beverage from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Monster Beverage from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. ValuEngine lowered Monster Beverage from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. Citigroup increased their price target on Monster Beverage from $62.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on Monster Beverage from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $63.38.

Shares of MNST opened at $58.27 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $31.98 billion, a PE ratio of 39.91, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.39. Monster Beverage has a 1 year low of $47.61 and a 1 year high of $70.21.

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $988.73 million. Monster Beverage had a return on equity of 25.47% and a net margin of 25.86%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.40 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Monster Beverage will post 1.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in Monster Beverage by 14.5% in the 2nd quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 6,594 shares of the company’s stock valued at $377,000 after acquiring an additional 836 shares during the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its position in Monster Beverage by 16.5% in the 3rd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 6,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,000 after acquiring an additional 975 shares during the last quarter. HPM Partners LLC grew its position in Monster Beverage by 3.6% in the 3rd quarter. HPM Partners LLC now owns 28,296 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,649,000 after acquiring an additional 991 shares during the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its position in Monster Beverage by 21.5% in the 2nd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 5,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $324,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its position in Monster Beverage by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 84,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,899,000 after acquiring an additional 1,085 shares during the last quarter. 64.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Monster Beverage

Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes energy drink beverages, soda, and its concentrates in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Monster Energy Drinks, Strategic Brands, and Other. The company offers ready-to-drink packaged drinks, non-carbonated dairy based coffee and energy drinks, and non-carbonated energy shakes primarily to bottlers and full service beverage distributors, as well as sells directly to retail grocery and specialty chains, wholesalers, club stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, convenience chains, food service customers, and the military; and concentrates and/or beverage bases to authorized bottling and canning operations; and ready-to-drink packaged energy drinks to bottlers and full service beverage distributors.

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