LaCroix Maker’s Shares Fall After Weak Earnings Results, CEO Blames ‘Injustice’

Shares of National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ), the owner of the LaCroix brand of sparkling water, are losing more than 19 percent in Friday’s pre-market activity following disappointing quarterly earnings results that the company’s CEO blamed on “injustice.”

In an earnings release on Thursday with the headline “We Just Love Our LaCroix’ Consumers Chant,” National Beverage reported its results for the third quarter.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company’s net income for the third quarter ended January 26, 2019 was $24.81 million or $0.53 per share, down sharply from $41.08 million or $0.88 per share in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the quarter declined 2.8 percent to $220.89 million from $227.48 million in the prior-year quarter.

“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,” Nick Caporella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.

However, the CEO did not specify what the injustice was. Instead, Caporella added, “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.”

Caporella noted that gross margins were impacted by volume declines, while comparisons were further skewed by the adoption of the new tax act in the year-ago quarter, which included credits and rate reduction adjustments aggregating $11.3 million.

Caporella ended the earnings release with the statement, “Patriotism – If Only We Could Bottle It!”

Shares of National Beverage have declined 31 percent in the past year. The company closed Thursday’s trading with a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion.

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