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UPDATE: Jefferies Initiates Coverage On Monster, Optimistic On Sales Growth And Expansion

Erika Janowicz

In a report published Monday, Jefferies analyst Kevin Grundy initiated coverage on Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST) with a Buy rating and $82.00 price target.

Grundy noted that Monster is the “best secular growth story in the LRB space,” with high expectations for U.S. sales growth and international expansion. Jefferies forecasts high single-digit sales growth and high teens growth internationally through 2018, as a percentage.

The analyst additionally commented on regulatory fears.

Grundy wrote, “The intense scrutiny facing the industry has subsided, which has been a key driver of multiple expansion. Sporadic excise tax risk (e.g. France, Hungary) will likely be part and parcel for shareholders, although we view it as (i) not unique to energy drinks (i.e. CSDs, snacks), and (ii) unlikely in the US (80% of sales) at the federal level. FDA commentary/actions to date have been benign, and the recent decision in the state of MD, whose legislature voted 22-1 against the prohibition of sales to minors, gives us additional comfort.”

Shares of Monster Beverage closed at $68.28 on Monday and are currently trading at $69.40, up 1.64 percent.

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