NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST) - Get Report are higher by 13.36% to $141.41 at the start of trading on Friday morning, after the alternative beverage maker posted a year-over-year increase in earnings for the 2014 fourth quarter that topped what analysts had forecast for the period.

For the most recent quarter Monster Beverage said its net income was 72 cents per diluted share versus the 44 cents per diluted share the company reported for the 2013 fourth quarter.

Analysts' estimates called for earnings of 59 cents for the latest quarter.

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Monster Beverage's net sales for the quarter grew by 12% to $605.6 million from $540.8 million for the year ago period.

"We are pleased to report another quarter and year of continuing sales growth, in both our domestic and international markets. In particular, we continued to achieve solid sales growth in Japan, which is becoming one of our largest international markets," Monster Beverage CEO Rodney Sacks said in a statement.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP (MNST) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MNST Ratings Report

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