Monster Beverage's stock falls sharply after earnings report

Monster Beverage shares fall nearly 9% after earnings release

The high-flying stock of Monster Beverage Corp. fell sharply Friday after the energy drink maker reported quarterly earnings that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

The stock dropped $12.45, or 8.6%, to $131.04 a share in morning trading after opening more than 10% lower. Despite the decline, the stock still nearly has doubled in price over the last 12 months.

Based in Corona, Calif., Monster Beverage said late Thursday that its first-quarter earnings were affected by the strong U.S. dollar overseas and $206 million in termination payments to distributors related to its pending asset swap with Coca-Cola Co.

Coke announced in August it would pay $2.15 billion for a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage and for Coke to become Monster Beverage's preferred distributor. The deal is expected to close in the current quarter.

The deal also calls for Coke to transfer its energy drinks line to Monster Beverage, while Monster Beverage will transfer its non-energy drinks business, including Hansen's Natural Sodas, to Coca-Cola.

Monster Beverage's net income in the three months ended March 31 fell to $4.4 million, or three cents a share, from $95.3 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding the termination fees and other adjustments, profit rose to 62 cents a share from 55 cents, but analysts had expected 68 cents in the latest quarter, according to Factset Research.

First-quarter revenue rose 17% to $626.8 million from $536.1 million.

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