Even as the threat of a class action lawsuit looms in the background, National Beverage Corporation announced a 15 percent increase in revenue for the first six months of fiscal year 2017, the company’s best-ever performance over a similar time period.
The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, which includes the highly popular sparkling water brand La Croix in its brand portfolio, saw revenue increase from $364 million to $420 million over the first half of its 2017 fiscal year, which began on May 1, 2016.
Net income also increased, rising 65 percent from $32 million to $54 million over the same period.
According to data from SPINS, La Croix has the highest sales rates and VPOs among national sparkling water brands for the last 52 weeks ending October 31, 2016. As a whole, National Beverage earned an estimated $226 million last year, according to data service Euromonitor International.
“Our first half of FY2017 is reflective of our architecture and passion!” wrote Nick A. Caporella, Chairman and CEO, in a press release. “The cyclical differences in summer and fall quarters, when adjusted, made our second quarter just as gratifying as the first. Packaging, distribution, promotions and marketing are investment avenues leading to the architectural year-end results. Hopefully we will soon see public company protocols revisited allowing for a ‘fairer’ way to analyze – especially self-serving, ‘short interest’ disclosure.”
The “self-serving” reference is likely a nod to Glaucus Research Group, an “activist” short seller firm that issued a report in September accusing National Beverage of manipulating financial statements as part of a scheme to cover up financial losses. That news sparked an 8.2 percent drop in National Beverage stock.
Since the report, multiple class action lawsuits concerning potential violations of federal securities have been announced on behalf of company shareholders.
National Beverage’s response to the claims has been pointed. Caporella, who owns 50 percent of the company’s shares, rejected the report’s findings as false in a press release, and the company subsequently launched a website, www.readthetruefacts.com, that contains links to documents that support its case.
Caporella also launched an aggressive capital allocation program that paid out a $1.50 per share special dividend to shareholders in November. He has also proposed making regular dividend payouts, with the amount based on holding duration.