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Monster Beverage's 1st-quarter results falls short

CORONA, Calif. (AP) -- Monster Beverage Corp.'s first-quarter net income fell 17 percent despite stronger sales, as the energy drink maker was weighed down unfavorable currency rates, legal expenses and costs tied to distribution agreements.

The Corona, Calif., company on Wednesday reported net income of $63.5 million, or 37 cents per share, for the quarter versus $76.1 million, or 41 cents per share, last year. The most recent quarter was hurt by $8.3 million of distributor-termination obligations, $4.7 million of foreign currency transaction losses and $3 million in legal and other costs tied to regulatory matters and litigation regarding its namesake energy drinks.

Monster, along with other energy drink makers, is facing increased scrutiny over the safety of their beverages. The company has repeatedly stood by the safety of its drink.

The company's total revenue increased 6.5 percent to $484.2 million from $454.6 million a year ago.

The quarter's results fell far short of market expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were anticipating earnings of 46 cents per share on revenue of $502.2 million.

Monster's Chairman and CEO Rodney Sacks said that the company was pleased to report another quarter of sales growth but noted that several exceptional costs affected profitability in the quarter. He said a number of the company's products are gaining strength, and Monster Beverage has launches planned for some unspecified international markets.

That was not enough to appease investors, who were disappointed with the quarterly shortfall.

Shares of Monster fell more than 14 percent, or $8.22, to $48.75 in after-hours trading. Its stock fell 18 cents to close regular trading at $56.97.