Monster Beverage (MNST) Stock Tanks on Weak Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Monster Beverage (MNST) shares are down 7.83% to $132.32 in trading on Friday after the energy beverage company reported its first quarter earnings results after the closing bell yesterday.

The Corona, CA-based company reported a first-quarter profit of $4.4 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, which fell six cents short of the 68 cents per share that analysts had forecast. Revenue for the period of $626.8 million topped analysts' $603.5 million expectations, however.

Operating expenses that more than doubled to $361.3 million from $138 million a year ago were partly responsible for the company's earnings miss.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs lowered the company's rating to "neutral" from "conviction buy" as a result of the first quarter earnings.

"We are mindful of valuation with MNST currently trading at 43.0X, at the very high-end of consumer/retail peer growth peers. Key risks include category growth, market share and distribution transition," said analysts Judy Hong and Freda Zhuo.

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."

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