Monster Beverage Will Join S&P 500

Late yesterday, Standard and Poor’s announced that Monster Beverage will be added to the S&P 500 index next week. Monster will replace Sara Lee, which is splitting its North American business and international beverage business into two publicly traded companies. Monster, which has been publicly traded since 1995, will join the three major beverage companies – Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple – on the S&P 500.

Shares of Monster have risen at a torrid pace in recent years as the company continues to rack up record sales of its energy drinks. Sales of Monster products in the first quarter of 2012 rose by 27.5 percent to $454.6 million from $356.4 million in the same period last year, with the company achieving a net income of $76.1 million for the quarter – up nearly 40 percent from first quarter 2011.

Monster’s share price soared on the news, rising to over $77 per share yesterday before closing at $73.61 in heavy trading today.