Pepsi, Gross: 58%, Operating: 14%
Dr. Pepper, Gross: 62%, Operating: 19%
The larger beverage manufacturers also have fast-growing emerging-markets units. Still, in the performance category, National Beverage has delivered. Its stock has gained 20% a year, on average, since 2008, besting Coke's 3.3% annualized return, Pepsi's 3.3% annualized loss and Dr. Pepper's 5% annualized increase. In the case of soda stocks, bigger isn't necessarily better. Other top performers include Cott ( COT), which has rallied 54% a year, on average, since 2008, and Hansen ( HANS), which has climbed 10% annually. Jones Soda ( JSDA), down 36% a year, has doubled in the past 12 months as earnings stretched 8.3%. Similar to the craft-beer movement, there may be a craft-soda movement afoot. Hip consumers enjoy regional brands such as those offered by National, throwbacks like Cott's RC Cola, and unique flavors like the green-apple and blue-bubble gum tonics of Jones Soda.