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Short sellers are getting shellacked on shares of
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (
GMCR). While the firm seems to have perennially-high short interest, the 89% rally that shares have undergone year-to-date has certainly had an impact on their performance numbers. Now, with shares pushing through to new 52-week highs as recently as yesterday, short sellers have good reason to be nervous. Still, the firm's short interest ratio of 13.77 means that shorts are still making big bets that GMCR is due for a drop.
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Green Mountain owns Keurig, the brand of beverage brewers that use self-contained K-Cups to make coffee, teas, and other drinks. While Keurig's "fad" status has certainly helped tip the deck against GMCR, the fact remains that the firm has done most of the hard work in getting Keurig machines accepted by consumers. With brewers essentially ubiquitous at this point, the firm is able to make money on its cash cow: the K-Cups.
K-Cups offer a sticky revenue stream for Green Mountain. Because they're proprietary, the firm can command premium pricing for them. And because the firm can offer new, diverse drink choices (like hot cocoa or iced coffee), it's able to drive sales among its large base. While investors have pointed to competition from the likes of
SBUX) as a potential party-ender for GMCR, the renewed deal between the two firms is a big indication that SBUX's rival Verismo brewer isn't destroying Keurig's share of the market.
While GMCR is far from cheap right now, its hardly trading at an insane valuation given its growth trajectory and nearly debt-neutral balance sheet. Green Mountain may be a "fad stock," buy why wouldn't you want to own a stock that's enjoying fad momentum?